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Have you seen the T-Shirt yet?

Michael Phelps, winner of eight gold medals, described his typical day, “eat, sleep, swim.”

Ironically, he is now writing a book about how he achieved success in his chosen field. Should be fairly short:

Chapter 1 – How to eat 10,000 calories a day.

Chapter 2 – How to spend 10 hours a day in the water and not have wrinkled skin.

Chapter 3 – How to sleep (after eating a millions calories and doing the hardest imaginable physical work all day long)

Question – where does Michael go from here?

Coach? Motivational speaker? Does he wear Adidas t-shirts all day and rake in the cash? Go to college? Get married?

Benedict Carey of the New York Times explores what happens after the games for the vast majority of the athletes. In an article titled, After Glory of a Lifetime, Asking ‘What Now?’ he writes about the day Bruce Jenner crossed the finish line in the 1,500 meters in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, knowing he had won the gold medal and set a world record.

He just didn’t know what he was going to do for dinner.

A friend lent him the use of a luxury suite, and in the room was a grand piano. He thought to himself, “Huh, maybe I should learn to play the piano. I mean, I was extremely satisfied but also devastated by the finality of it all.”

You’re talking about people who have trained for years, almost every day, and made huge sacrifices,” in their relationships, career, all of it, said sports psychologist Charlie Brown. “And for some of them once they have this huge, intense experience, it’s a very fragile situation afterwards.”

Carey cites a 1982 study which found that only 17 percent of former Olympians made the transition back to the workplace without significant emotional distress, including substance abuse and depression.

Here’s hoping that the determination, discipline, sacrifice, teachability, and sheer desire of many olympic atheletes can be translated into success of a more lasting nature – advancing the great kingdom of our matchless Lord Jesus.

(Parts of this article were taken from James Emery White’s newletter, Serious Times. )

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