You are! You are a professional athlete, and I can prove it:
- Do you earn money for work?
- Is your work primarily physical? (Then, you are a professional athlete)
- Is your work primarily intellectual?
- Is your brain part of your body? (Then, you are a professional athlete)
Isn't it time you started acting line one?
Sure, nobody is paying you for your jump shot or your pitching arm. And your salary probably is much less than LeBron's. But that doesn't change the facts: you make your living because of your physical (mental=physical, see above) skills and abilities.
And yes, your competitive advantage is harder to measure. There are no reliable statistics for good judgement or decision-making skills. No batting average for creativity (although we try, don't we?). That still doesn't change the facts. And yet, we somehow forget.
This is your reminder: You are a professional athlete.
And professional athletes take care of their health and value nutrition. Professional athletes cross-train and develop new skills to keep their edge. They design their environment to support their training. They take seasons off. And when the day is done, and they can't possibly take another shot or play another round, they don't. They listen to their bodies (or at least to their coaches) and they rest.
You are a professional athlete (it bears repeating).
So too must you value your health and prioritize nutrition. You must continue learning throughout your career. You must intentionally create a work environment that supports innovation and mental health. And you must give up the workaholic identity that is slowly destroying your mental edge, just like overtraining destroys an athlete's body.
You must do all of these things. Not only because they are good for your health and better for your relationships (they are!). But also because they are your obligation. To your profession.
Because you are a professional athlete.
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