Going the distance

Get fit to compete in the game of life

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. June 18, 2014

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The National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association consist of about 30 teams in each league. Training camp for each league starts in the summer. Preliminary season games typically take place in the fall. Then the season launches typically in October and grinds on through the late spring and early summer toward the championship.

As we have touched on before, each team is restricted to a certain amount of money for player salaries. This means that there is general equality among most of the teams in the league. Admittedly, a minority of teams who, because of poor talent or management, have virtually no chance of winning a championship. Still on any given night, any team can beat any other team.

So the fascinating question is why are a small number of teams still standing at the end of the season in each of these sports?

Although there are myriad of reasons and hypotheses, the health of the team is one of the crucial ingredients. Let me explain.

In a recent championship series in mid-June, the air conditioning inexplicably failed during the second half of a key game. The temperature at courtside was approximately 100 F according to reporters. There was even a question about whether to stop the game in light of the danger to the players, but a decision was made to finish the game.

One team was clearly physically exhausted, and a key player had an imbalance in his body minerals and cramped up and had to be carried off the court. This made all of the difference; and the opponent won handily.

In effect, we are all actors, performers and athletes. Our physical strength and endurance are key factors in our ability to share our gifts and skills with the community.

So here's a lesson from these professional leagues: The future belongs to the fit. You may not be a champion in a professional sport but you can be a champion in your own life. Don't blow your chances by not getting enough sleep, exercise and support from family and friends.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

June 18, 2014