Industrial Athletes Take Heart

The Super Bowl has a way of making grown men dream about what might have been.

“If I hadn’t blown out my knee in high school, I could have been All State.”

“If I’d focused on football instead of basketball, I could have gone all the way.”

Or in my case, “If I hadn’t joined the band in fifth grade, I might gotten the chance to participate in more than the halftime show.”

But I think we nine-to-fivers need to take heart. Football is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for most of us, at least not at the professional level.A mere 2,000-ish people are gifted enough to make their living in the NFL.

Still, we’re not that different than the guys who suit up on Sundays. Take the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, for example.

Watt is arguably the best player at any position in the NFL. At 6’5, 295 pounds, he’s an athletic prodigy who was clearly born to do one thing and do it well. How could he be anything but a football player with a name like J.J. Watt?

Watt’s workplace is a 50×100 yard field. In his business, violent collisions are the norm, and playing injured is considered “other duties as assigned.”

The rest of us are players in a much different game. Ours unfolds in factories, hospitals, fire stations and corporate office buildings. Unless Terry Tate joins our team, we’re not likely to get pummeled by a 250-pound linebacker.

Still, our jobs are physically demanding. And that is where we find common ground with Watt and his peers.

We are industrial athletes, and our bodies are our instruments. Whether we spend our day sacking quarterbacks or groceries, we should prepare our instruments to withstand the rigors of our jobs. It’s called functional fitness, and it is one area where employee wellness and employee safety intersect.

In our next post, we’ll explain what functional fitness is and why you should invest in it.

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