Friday, January 13, 2012

Everybody has their own dream: The Sequel

"I have it all - great career, nice wife, huge house, lots of money. It's like I'm living the American dream - but it's somebody else's dream."

One of Ronda's teammates on the 2004 Olympic judo team, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson made the point that no one who has earned a spot on the Olympic team decides not to go, what people do is decide not to train for the Olympics. Karo Parisyan qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials at 81 kg but went into the UFC instead. He said he never regretted it. Rick Hawn, who won the 2004 Olympic Trials at 81 kg, placed ninth in Athens and is now a fighter for Bellator. He also says he never regretted his decision.

Here is the continuation of the discussion Ronda and I had (with guest commentary from Henry Akins of Dynamix MMA) about whether people really choose the UFC (or anything) over the Olympics - and what do you do after the Olympics is over.


James Jones said...

Nice stuff Dr Ann. I remember talking with Rhadi and he mentioned the depression after the olympics and that he wrote a book about it. The IOC wasn't too happy about a "tell all" of how there is a let down after being an olympian. Your conversation reminds me of the people that I met who went into medicine and certain subspecialties (ie surgery, cardiology) with the belief that it would some how transform them into happy people. When this didn't happen, they were depressed and miserable and eventually horrible doctors. BTW, love how Henry was acting as the voice of reason to keep you and Ronda on point. Good stuff all around. Thanks!

Dr. AnnMaria said...

When I was in graduate school they had a meeting with the students just before graduation. There was a very high rate of suicide among new Ph.D.s and MDs. It was exactly like you said, people had this idea that they would graduate and suddenly it would be only rainbows and unicorns. Instead, the day after graduation they still had student loans, jobs, dishes to do. There was a very high rate of depression. At least when I was in school, UCR did a very good job of trying to give students realistic expectations. So did the University of Minnesota, where I received my MBA

Sylver said...

Thanks for this video. It was a very honest look at it.

One question though: Aside of the psychological "I did it, what now" feeling, Ronda raised the point that once you win the Olympics, you are left with a handshake and debts. And that nothing is done for you afterwards.

It's rather disgraceful. It seems such a waste of potential and a let down to simply part with a handshake. What do you and Ronda think should be done for athletes after the Olympics?

His Excellency said...

Really interesting conversation. I hope to see more of this!

Expectations can deceive anyone. But at least y'all won medals and were committed towards attaining you're goal (at the time). Which, in my opinion is in of itself yet another achievement (to commit and be determined to attain a particular goal over X amount of time).

Would your conversation have differed if let's say neither one of you had won a medal at a WC and or the Olympics? You are both speaking from the winning perspective. But, would you say you lost anything in the process of trying to win?


“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” - Chuang Tzu

How has time/experience changed your point of view on competition in the sport of Judo?

Looking forward to your opinion!