Article by Jeff Siegel, High Times
I’ve always been a bit intimidated by professional athletes.
Not necessarily because they’re physically superior to me in every way, but because they’re so well-disciplined.
Having roomed with a professional fighter in my early 20s, I witnessed first-hand the discipline it takes to compete at a level that few mortals could ever know. The physical demands, the mental dexterity, the personal sacrifices: It’s far more than what most people can handle. And it’s why so few ever make it to the top.
Understand, this isn’t a criticism. It’s merely an observation of truth.
And here’s another truth…
Despite what you may see in movies or on television, the lifestyle of a professional athlete is far from glamorous.
Sure, there’s plenty of money and fame that comes with competing at a professional level. But there’s also a lot of physical and mental pain that few ever see. This is particularly true in the NFL, where nearly every single player battles chronic pain on a daily basis.
To battle this pain, players are treated to a never-ending supply of opioids that allow them to mask the pain and get back out on the field. Former Ravens superstar Eugene Monroe wrote about this last year, where he described what’s known as the T Train.
The T Train is nothing more than a bunch of really large guys waiting to pull their pants down to get shot in the butt with Toradol, a powerful painkiller that will help them make it through the game and its aftermath.
Instead of an injection, some players opt for an oral form of Toradol. The effects are the same, though, and can last through the next day. Some guys don’t feel any pain for two days. Of course, that’s the point of these drugs—they block out the pain and reduce inflammation. But they also temporarily mask injury. That’s not a good thing if you get hurt during a game—you might need to address your injuries right away. But you feel nothing, so you do nothing.
While those opioids do a tremendous job of allowing players to get back in the game, they also come with a number of side effects that no one in his right mind would find acceptable, including liver damage, brain damage and sadly, dependence.