Whoever created the quote “Pain is temporary; Pride is forever” must not have been in actual physical pain. Pain exists as a survival mechanism so that we know when our body cannot handle the acts that we place on it. That pain registers in our brain that out actions may not be good for our bodies. Some of that pain does fade away after a short period of time, but most pain cumulates until it becomes permanent. Chronic pain occurs when we ignore our bodies’ warning flags to the point of permanent damage. This is especially true for athletes because they are encouraged to destroy their bodies for glory, even if that requires taking supplements. Performance enhancing drugs should not be used or encouraged in sports.
The effects of abusing our bodies can start at an early age with athletes. The article, “Abuse of Drugs to Enhance Sports Performance: Winning at Any Cost” describes the performance enhancing drugs that adolescent athletes are taking. There are four kinds of these drugs: Androstendedione (Andro), Creatine, Anabolic Steroids, and Ephedra Alkaloids. The article mostly focuses on Andro and Creatine. Andro hormones turns into testosterone when they enter the liver. Creatine is a naturally occurring protein that helps to create ATP, the energy of the cell. Both of these drugs can give quite the boost in performance to athletes. The article states that many athletes have set records while on these substances. But the effects of these drugs last forever. Andro users can suffer from hair loss, testicular atrophy, and outburst of aggression. Creatine users can suffer from muscle tears and losing function in the kidneys, but long terms effects are still being studied. An athlete’s long term health should be their first priority.
Society encourages the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. Football, for example, is Americas’ biggest sports industry. Parents encourage their children into football at a very early age and reward them for their ability to score goals no matter the physical consequences. The NFL then scouts for talent in high schools and colleges and rewarding athletes with scholarships and promises of glory and gold on the world’s stage. Often the first response when an athletes is caught taking illegal performance enhancing drugs is that everyone else is taking them already. Athletes are given the status of gods especially in the U.S. and all we give them back is shrugs to the severe injuries they incur over time. We should not expect or demand athletes to completely sacrifice their bodies for our entertainment.
Athletes may not informed of the effects of performance enhancing drugs. High school was not too long ago for me. I did not perform in physical sports, but I would have done a lot to be as my peers P.E. If someone came to me and said that they had a legal supplement for me that would allow me to not be the laughingstock in gym class, I would have taken it immediately. Because of the fact that we honor physical prowess in American society, I have always felt inadequate despite my critical thinking skills. Adolescent athletes are just as insecure and immature as I was in high school. They should be well informed of the affects these drugs will have on their bodies over time or those drugs should not be taken at all. Since we cannot properly regulate whether or not athletes make educated choices about the supplements that they take, we should regulate the drugs themselves.
Performance enhancing drugs should not be taken by athletes. The drugs can have do long term damage to the body that has not even been studied yet. Society should not create an environment that rewards the use of performance enhancing drugs and should regulate the use of said drugs. When the decision comes between a long, healthy life and the chance at temporary pride and glory, the answer should immediately be towards life because. Pain can be permanent and Pride is not forever.
P.S. If you want to see the roots of my argument against society’s abuse of our athletes click here.