ARE ATHLETES EVER CAPABLE OF BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP ?!

Something interesting happened earlier these days at the labour and social court while working over disability insurances whether if they are approved or not. Going through mountains of files of sick people. How many of them! Court hearings nonstop just like on an assembly line.

You see broken, old and young people in pain, suffering and hopefully declared not being able to work again. I am sharing an office with two female lawyers and we all agree how important it is to stay fit and healthy for a lifetime. There is nothing worse than being in pain all the time – and most of them preventable causes, injuries which could have been avoided easily with gymnastic and twenty minutes daily walks. And this leads us to the question how much fitness is too much?

Between Osteoporosis and broken hips my female colleague told me she is going for a run two or three times a week to avoid injuries like that….

…and that she met a man recently, an athlete, whom she is really attracted to. But she is sceptical about his sporting effort. This guy participates competitions too. We are not talking about someone who is doing this professional, we are talking about someone, who works eight hours a day and then when he finished his work, he engages in sporting activities. „He definitely had his difficulties meeting me, usually he consoled me with emails and messages, our dates and meetings were very rare. He needs his sports for his well-being, he said. I’m really attracted to this guy because he knows what he wants in life and he is so disciplined and exciting. He has goals and he is going after it. I like that. And his body…my god! But the same time it hurts me being number two on his priority list. When I want to meet him he is taking me off till later. I don´t believe he could exercise less, I wonder, whether such men are ever capable of being in a relationship?!“

„Forget it“, the other girl said, „I have been in a relation with an athlete for a year. The day has only twenty-four hours , it is obvious that at some point there is no time for a relationship when someone works for eight hours, eight hours sleeping , spends one hour for budget / finance / shopping, at least two-three hours training per day and in the remaining four hours they have other stuff to do, like meeting friends or relatives. If the sport aspect is so important, they make a very clear statement and say: „take it or leave it!

„If you are not an extreme sportswoman yourself“, she continued, „this can not work out. There is simply no „if“ or „but“, the only way being together with an athlete is, if you have low expectations on a partnership, participate extreme sport yourself or if you are capable of extremely suffering! Otherwise I don´t see any chance. I tell you something, I am in a relationship with a normal guy now, and I have never been happier. An athlete? Never again. I can tell you, they are all lacking self-esteem, are never satisfied, they fear of growing old, they are driven of a morbid kind of perfectionism, and sorry that  I am laughing now but disciplined and exciting exclude each other. I agree with you in the point that they have great bodies but where is your personal profit if you have to fit in a training-schedule and basically accept all compromises yourself? My advice is: take off and run as fast as you can!

This was not the first time I have heard conversations like this, and..

Wow this is …..charming!

The figure of the self-disciplined athlete suffers from it`s poor image, it´s been associated with puritanical renunciation. The type of a merry chaotic seems to be more sympathetic than the check-seeking pedant. Self-control and a tendency towards perfectionism are not getting along with an exuberant vitality. However, most people have to work to find the right mix of fun and sense of duty. The image of the humorless athlete is almost absurd. Self-discipline is a talent that should not be neglected. And I think it´s time to shoot back:

It is an open secret that most people assume that a high degree of self-discipline leads to a little joyful life. But this is not the case. Controlled people are generally satisfied with their lives. The figure of the selfish, egocentric, reckless and strange athlete can not be equally concerned to all of them. So I  have asked some athletes to talk to me about this „problem“ and let them speak. Listen what they have to say:

Simon Hastings, Triathlete and stylish cyclist

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photo credit: Simon Hastings

The question is not if I am capable of being in a relation or not. The question is, if the girl is worth my time. A relation is time consuming and time is something I surely don´t have. But for the right girl I would do anything to make it run – except she is open to my interests and tolerant of my lifestyle and she has to carry her own interest; I prefer a girl who is a free spirit of her own rights. When it comes to sports, everybody gets involved for a reason. I have to fit my swimming training in before work, so I’ll try to be in the water before 6am. It is simply very difficult to find someone who fits with my lifestyle.

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photo credit: Simon Hastings

I always try to turn my girls into sportswoman but it´s a fight. There is a certain masochism to any endurance sport, but in triathlon there is beauty too, and the chance to engage with nature. I am getting tired of fighting over that what I really want to do. The best situation that can happen is, I find a girl who shares my passion but I would also cut down my training. It helps that a lot of my friends are cyclists, runners or even triathletes, we’ll go out on a Saturday morning for a long ride, six to 10 of us, and make a social occasion of it. Explain that to your girl on sunday morning, it´s a battle you can not win. I am not looking for perfection. I am looking for someone worth my time.“

Follow Simon on Instagram @ebbehastng

Chris Nindl, Triathlete and Bike Store Owner

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photo credit: Chris Nindl

To me, that question doesn’t even arise – it wouldn´t make no difference if my girl is a sportswoman or not. Lucky me, I have a healthy relationship with a fantastic sportswoman, but I can see the problem:

That athletes are confronted with problems when it comes to having a relationship is not true and simply ridiculous. Sure, a lot of them are singles but for other reasons – not simply because they don´t have time for it. Both, men and women present themselves adapted to be in line with the trend of the time, sportive, strong, fit and badass, sending pictures from gyms all over the world and create an image they send to the world via social media – but most of them are not themselves. In my opinion, the greatest difficulties between sportsmen and sportswomen nowadays are when they no longer do sports for the mere passion of it but when they are on an ego trip. In recent years, these so-called „sports enthusiasts“ have envaded our society. Everyone suddenly wants to run a marathon, do an Ironman or otherwise seize any finisher medal to boost his or her ego. People are no longer focused on the competition itself but rather on the image they want to portray to the outside.

Men have been raised with the false belief that they should always appear cool and unemotional, 24/7. I’ve encountered countless driven athletes who work tirelessly for years to prove their strenght and power, doing everything to become faster, collect medals, finish an Ironman but the drive isn’t always enough on its own. “You’re a bit of a softie, aren’t you?” “Pfft… no! I just told you about that triathlon that I completed last month. I think that’s kind of badass, not soft!” All of the power, prestige, leadership ability, and humour won’t get you anywhere near a fulfilling relationship if you don´t put your heart in what you do. If the complete picture you send out is just an image of a cool badass, I truly believe that this sort of person might have difficulties in creating a relationship. Ideally you’ll be focused on something that you’re passionate about and if you are, I, for my part,  I personally don’t see it as a problem having a relationship with a girl – whether she is a sportswoman or not. It is important that both partners understand both affection and passion so nothing can prevent them from enjoying a healthy relationship with each other. A passion for a sport should never be strong enough as to affect the love between two people.

Follow Chris on Instagram @chrisnindl

Julia Montgomery, Triathlete and fittest chick on planet earth

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photo credit: Julia Montgomery

For me it is actually the other way around. I think one of the reasons why some relations don´t work out is due not enough attention. It´s hard to deeply engage your  woman or your man on an emotional level if you have other priorities. Every person wants to feel deeply seen and understood by someone in their lives. I’m focusing on a very big goal since I decided to go from Age Group athlete to PRO and that requires a big focus and I also have a full time job to focus on. It´s logical that my partner is not my first priority now, but it should. When it comes to deeply connecting with a partner on an emotional level, the presence will always mean more than anything else ever could. Everyone (male or female) wants to feel deeply seen and appreciated. The first step in giving someone this feeling is in developing your personal presence.

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photo credit: Julia Montgomery

If we compare girls and boys, in general girls require more attention from their partner. We appreciate being taken care of from our partner and we want to be their absolute favorite thing. If the partner has a very big interest in sports and is more or less an elite athlete (at least they train like one) I often see and feel that their main focus is not their partner, it’s their sport. When I’m done with my training for the day I’m pretty tired. I’m not the most positive person in the world and this side is often the side that my partner meets. If I’m more or less always this tired when I’m at home, then how fun is it to be with me?

 Bildschirmfoto 2015-11-15 um 14.06.03
photo credit: Julia Montgomery

But in the long run I think that most girls get tired of not being number one. I think that if a boy is in a relationship with a non-athlete girl, it’s harder for the boys to involve their girlfriends in their sport interest, and the longer time that goes by, the more distance you build between your girlfriend and your sport.

Follow Julia on Instagram @missy_monty

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Ein Gedanke zu “ARE ATHLETES EVER CAPABLE OF BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP ?!

  1. Nice post! A very popular question amongst athletes… I’d agree with Simon Hastings, it’s not about being an athlete, it’s about the value of the relationship. I would add it’s also about how you are as a person. If you are positive and balanced (in one word: happy), you can make anything work. If not (read: if you’re unhappy), then you have a problem. This is where sport becomes an addiction, the same as work or other occupations can become one.
    Good luck with the blog, and happy riding!

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