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The day starts early for an athlete. The alarm rings before the sun is up and in the first few rings, the athlete wakes up, ready for a new day and all its challenges. The first few minutes are spent recalling the schedule for the day and as the athlete makes a mental note of the important things, the body automatically moves to the foot of the bed preparing for the waking up workout. A couple of push ups and jumping jacks later, the body is fully awake… ready and raring to move. The next half hour is spent going through a few morning chores, except for showering. Then on comes the jogging attire, shoes shorts and the lot. Not all days are good for jogging but as an athlete, trained to push the boundaries, bad jogging conditions are just new challenges that needs to be conquered.

The path is well worn and familiar. Muscle memory and a trained breathing help the athlete concentrate on the songs being listened to while the body takes itself through a path a mile or so long. Today is a three-lap day because there is time to kill before the day starts. As the third lap comes to a finish just outside home, the sun is up and shining bright. In an hour, the training starts. The athlete goes straight to the shower, refreshing the body and making both mind and body ready for a long day. There is always an event around the corner or a competition just a few weeks away. Training never stops and there is always room for improvement. The athlete’s goal is to be in peak condition for every tournament. The training includes a variety of exercises, interspersed with specific event training, and a session of working out all the wrong muscles through sports and other activities. This form of conditioning is necessary.

As the athlete leaves home, having had an athlete’s breakfast of a balanced diet of high calorie foods, the preferred mode of transport is to walk or cycle to the gym. The day starts with the athlete warming up the right muscle groups required for that day’s activities. After an hour or so of this, the athlete takes a few minutes of much required rest. The coach comes calling, the athlete promptly responds. To a sportsman, the coach is almost family. The coach is the most integral part of the training, bringing valuable experience and feedback. To have a person who can see potential and push one beyond limits thought unbreakable is the greatest asset on the athlete’s side. However, not all days go reaching goals on the dot. In fact, most days go by with a goal set in mind but not reaching it until weeks down the line. The body is a fickle mistress, one day reaching great heights and then spending the next few not even coming close. Hence training is important.

The athlete trains in his sport for a good chunk of the day and then moves on to other activities. Helping maintain the gym or training area brings a sense of belonging to the athlete. It helps in keeping a grounded and disciplined lifestyle. At the start of the training, the athlete goes about clearing the track of random rocks and other hazards. At the end of the training, the athlete promptly puts away the gear in the appropriate places. This is the lifestyle and by those disciplines, the athlete lives.

On a normal mundane day, the training finishes and the athlete goes back home, just maybe taking a tad longer than the time it took to go from home to the gym in the morning. The tiredness starts to set in but that is a welcome sign. It means that the body was pushed to work hard. At home, a warm bath later comes time for some well-deserved relaxation. A movie one day, video games another, a book sometimes, recreations aplenty exist and the athlete chooses his preferred method. In all, the has turned out good… satisfactory. After a light dinner, it is time to go to bed and by this time, the mind is excited about tomorrow. Another day, brings its own set of struggles and challenges, but also, its own set of victories and experiences. With a content heart that can only stem from working hard and a tired body craving sleep, the athlete goes to bed. A sound slumber awaits, for a good day it has been.

Enjoyed this read? You can also go through a typical day in the life of a PhD student!

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