IT’S OUT OF THE BOX
Performance enhancing drugs are here to stay. Viagra for instance. Or Adderall. Why is it we skewer athletes for using performance enhancing drugs when we casually use them in our own lives? Why can't conditioned athletes increase their endurance and strength by using these drugs? If it's okay for the rest of us to enhance our performance in bed or on the battlefield, then why can't athletes have that same privilege?
One of the arguments against athletes using performance enhancing substances is that not all athletes will want to take those drugs and therefore no athlete should be allowed to take them.
That's silly. If I want to enhance my performance and you don't, then that's your choice. But if I want to take them, why am I punished for doing so? Isn't my choice as legitimate as yours is? And besides, who says my performance will be enhanced enough to make a difference?
As a society we value winning, both emotionally and financially. Professional athletes are expected to be at their best whenever they compete. That's what they're paid to do. If I train as hard as I can and do everything else it takes to win, why prevent me from achieving my ultimate performance by banning substances that enable me to do that? Is it because I'm putting something into my system besides food? That I'm somehow dramatically altering my physical condition? Why is it no one even mentions that I have to have those physical skills to begin with in order to enhance them? That I still have to work as hard as I can to perform at my best and that performance enhancing drugs allow those skills I've developed to be used to their peak capacity?
We have performance enhancing food. We have performance enhancing training techniques. Why then can't athletes add performance enhancing substances to their diet and training routine to achieve their ultimate best? Is it because it's called a drug instead of a supplement?
I could take all the performance enhancing drugs in the world and never be good enough to play for the Patriots or ride up a steep mountain road on a bicycle. I don't have the physical abilities to do those things. If I did, I'd do whatever it takes to enable me to perform at my best. So would you.
I suggest we call anything that enhances our performance a supplement rather than a drug. Maybe then we'll be able to understand that once we discover something that allows us to perform at our best, we'll never put it back in the box.