From Ato Bolden’s Twitter account, he tweeted 10 things retired track athletes know that active athletes might not. This isn’t meant to be a Brian Tracy checklist (here’s another), but it’s a good read, and I have to admit, I agree with everything said here.
Back in May 2008, I remember Gary Reed and Ian Gillespie were guest speakers at our function and the topic of life (or, more specifically, WORK after Track) was clearly in the air. You can tell that Gary did the smart thing back then by planning a job or career after his 800 meters days were over. Gary Reed retired from Track 3 years later at the end of the 2010 season.
But the most important point is #1. Save enough for a rainy day, because those days will come faster than you think. If you get a nice shoe contract, for goodness sake, put most of it in the bank or buy some property to live in. Even Roger Federer’s main residence is a flat (apartment/condo) and not a 12 bedroom 13 bathroom gated villa in Los Altos Hills.
Here are the 10 points, copied and pasted from Twitter:
#10: Save some of all that free gear you constantly give away. It’ll end.
#9: No-one ever remembers the pain, but medals are forever. PUSH. No pro track athlete ever died from a workout. POST CAREER regret sucks
#8: No 1 from that shoe company you love so much loves you. Romance with no finance is a nuisance. The more in love you are the less u make.
#7: The competitors you think you hate so much now will be your friends when you are retired. Don’t take it THAT seriously. Compete without hate.
#6: Figure out what job you will do next, in early or mid-career, not post career. FEW get to decide when they retire, most get forced out.
#5: One day you’ll awake and won’t be fast anymore. Does your career define your whole life/existence? IT SHOULDN’T. Have a life so you don’t have to go get one after.
#4: Make use of the best thing about being a track athlete – the travel. YEARS in exotic locales, but all you know is hotels and McDonald’s is pointless. Get outside, take pictures, learn something. Experience other lands.
#3: Your career is infinitely more fun with a good training group. CHOOSE YOUR training group wisely. Chances are if you hate your career after, it’s because you hated your training partners, bounced around to several, or had none.
#2: Europe can be wild and crazy and fun…and it can also shorten your career drastically if you are incapable of not acting a damn fool there. EURO "Wine and men/women" have prematurely ended many a promising career.
#1: Save your money like your life depends on it (it does) and make it earn more while you are earning a lot of it. And yes, get a pro to do this. "Your cousin who’s good with money" doesn’t count.
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