I had endured the late nights and subsequent painful early mornings that are required of a job like being a personal trainer. But the pride of supporting my country far outweighed the pain of a sleepy afternoon and the price of my 4th latte for the day that I needed to get me through. I felt proud, sleepy, but very Australian!
But now my focus on the World Cup has changed. I am needing to find a new motivation to get me through the following day after breaking my self imposed curfew. I’m generally bundled off to bed at around 9:30p at the latest so I can face the 4:00 or 5:00am wake ups! However I think I have found the motivation to stay awake in the athletic ability of these elite players.
I have been a casual follower of soccer as we call it here in Melbourne for quite a few years but never really appreciated their athletic ability before. But with this World Cup now nearing the pointy end of the competition it is really becoming apparent. Not only are they supremely adapted to the stop, drop and roll principal should they suffer the most glancing of blows but they truly are amongst some of the fittest athletes in the world.
Two 45 minute halves of repeated sprint efforts is impressive. I remember hearing suggestions earlier this year that the AFL should be changed to 45 minute halves to help prevent injuries etc. I doubt they would cope.
There are no excessive bench rotations, and quarter time breaks here. Just continuous running. But I guess you would want to be expertly prepared for the worlds biggest sporting event should you be paid enough to just about buy yourself a suburb of Melbourne at the end of each season.
Also the majority of these athletes have just finished playing in the elitete leagues across Europe just before joining their national teams, and they will be back to their domestic competitions, most of which begin in late August. They are basically playing year round. And many weeks its more than one game per week, with Champions Leagues etc occurring.
So for the remainder of this tournament although I will be enjoying their diving and award winning acting but I will also be focusing on the way they can still pass with relative precision (even with a dodgy ball) in the 90th minute of the game.
These, in my opinion, regardless of all of the tattoos, dyed hair and expensive cars, are some of the most impressive athletes in the world!
What sport would you consider to have the fittest athletes in the world and why?
Image credit: http://coolfwdmail.blogspot.com/