What is Fitness?
Let's begin with the basics. What is fitness? Is it hitting the gym once a while and flexing your muscles? Or is it following a strict diet but casually indulging in your favorite cupcake or a medium pizza? Fitness is about the relationship your mind shares with your body. It's about how you decide to treat yourself because at the end of the day, that is what matters the most. But this relationship is bound to wither after a certain point of time. Whether it's ageing or something else, the rate of your fitness level can slowly and gradually decrease. So, how does a Sportsperson, say a cricketer who has to endure such physical exhaustion and that too for lengthy periods of time, remain fit for years together?
Fitness And The World Of Sports
The answer to the question above is this. Cricketers have a very extraordinary life, no doubt, but a very short one as well. The brevity of a cricketer's life is not unknown to all, most of them have to retire by the ripe age of 39, regardless of how their performance is on the field. This is the truth of the matter that now, especially in the 21st Century, in an age where the variety of talent is boundless and opportunities limited, if a sportsperon isn't on the highest unit of the fitness scale, he won't survive in the field for long.
Fitness As Opposed To Talent
Referring back to what we said earlier, the new generation has so much talent to offer. The list of hardworking, talented candidates for any type of work is seamless. But when it comes to the world of sports, talent comes with a unique condition. Fitness. You could be as talented, dedicated and hardworking as you can but if you aren't fit enough to bear long playing hours, stifling heat, and aggressive competition, then you cannot survive. Cricketers now especially are put on extremely strict diets of only carbohydrates to ensure they can retain energy during long, tedious games.
Moving on, the Cricket World has witnessed many such personalities who valued being at the top of their Fitness Game more than the talent they had. Let's see some examples.
A man who needs no introduction. Virat Kohli, who is considered the frontrunner of the Indian Cricket Team, whose name has now become almost synonymous with hard work and dedication, is probably the best example of how fitness is just as important as talent. Kohli had always been the fiery, live- wire- decoded cricketer he is, but he hadn't always been the fittest. In his younger days, Kohli was a lot more chubby and a lot less fit, and this often resulted in a wearied cricketer who had the utmost potential to achieve greatness but couldn't quite achieve it. But Kohli quickly realised this and worked on improving himself to the point where today, he is considered one of the fittest sportsmen in the world. He follows what is called an Explosive Power Workout, which is known to give short bouts of immense, explosive energy. This along with regular hard core gymming and following a strict low fat diet makes Virat Kohli, the powerful and inspiring man he is.
A lady of fire, a lady of metal. Serena Williams started her journey with Tennis at the age of 13, and ever since has been striking out her opponents, undefeatedly. A force to be reckoned with, Williams' life is no less than a challenge. She has admitted in an earlier interview that it takes her all the more effort to retain her undefeated status than to achieve it. Having had a serious health scare a while back and having been unable to train, made Serena give a complete makover to the fitness routine and diet plan she'd been following. "I eat a clean diet of natural, raw foods."
A charismatic leader and a game changer, Warne wasn't always the kind of fit he is now. Admitted to being a chubby kid, it took Warne ten times the effort to make himself the legend he is. The man behind the winning team of the first season of the IPL, Shane said in an interview, "I'm doing a hundred push ups and sit ups every morning. I feel much stronger now. I feel great. Fitness is truly important when it comes to us cricketers." A career spanning more than two decades, Shane has exemplified the principle that if you want something, you must be willing to give it your all.