I was never inclined to play sports. It wasn’t until I met my husband – a former collegiate athletic director – who taught me how the game of football is played. However, it wasn’t knowing where the red zone is, calling the 25 second rule or how many quarters are played in college basketball that grabbed me about sports.
Instead, it was the nature of athletes—-individuals gifted with peak physical performance, bodies under incessant pressure to go faster and harder. And in today’s media-driven world, professional athletes can rise to global dominance, amassing untold wealth and fame, power and influence. Even at the top, I’ve seen how these unique pressures can take a toll on a pro athlete and turn into a substance abuse or mental health disorder.
Some of the most famous sports players have battled addiction. At the height of his sports fame, Dennis Rodman was in and out of rehab for alcoholism. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time….