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Why It’s Better to be a Writer Than an Athlete

January 17, 2013


Lance Armstrong in the prologue of the Tour de...

Writers don’t have to take drug tests. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though I love reading and writing, there’s a part of me that wishes I could have been an athlete instead.  I’d love to throw a perfect 50 yard game-winning touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, but I have a weak arm and no depth perception, so that was never going to happen.  I’d love to pitch a perfect game in the World Series, but again, my lack of arm strength and depth perception would get in the way.  

Sometimes I daydream about what it would have been like to be a great athlete and enjoy the benefits of my athleticism (except that I was taught that “athleticism” isn’t really a word).  I daydream of the money, fame, and hot chicks with cleavage that follow professional athletes.  Then something bad happens to these professional athletes, and I again appreciate how my life has turned out so far. 

Here are a couple more reasons why I am really glad I have stuck to reading and writing instead of playing competitive sports. 

1. Drug tests suck. 

Taking performance enhancing drugs can get athletes into trouble.  Baseball players get rejected in Hall of Fame voting because of suspicion about performance enhancing drugs.  Athletes get indicted by the federal government for perjury.  Football players get suspended from games. 

Lance Armstrong had to humiliate himself by going on Oprah and confessing that he had taken more drugs than he had earlier claimed.  When author James Frey humiliated himself by going on Oprah, he confessed to NOT taking as many drugs as he had earlier claimed.  At least writers can take a lot of drugs and then write about it and be rewarded for it, even if they were lying about the taking drugs part. 

This just demonstrates that nobody cares if authors take performing enhancing drugs.  People might make fun of Aaron Sorkin’s alleged drug usage, but it’s not going to stop anybody from seeing movies or television shows that he’s written.  Readers might wonder if Lewis Carroll was doped up on opium when he wrote Through the Looking Glass, but he never had to testify in front of Congress for it.  The judges for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction won’t yank the award if they find out Harper Lee drank a bunch of coffee while writing To Kill A Mockingbird (I’m not suggesting she did; I’m just using her as an example). 

Writers can take drugs without worrying about drug tests.  Athletes have to worry about drug tests.  Drug tests suck.  Writers win. 

2. Concussions suck. 

The more we learn about concussions and other head injuries, the more we learn they suck.  Football players can get paid a lot of money, but with that fortune comes risk, especially with all the hits they take and the brain damage it can cause.  Brain damage is a serious matter, and I’m glad I didn’t participate in a sport where that can be an issue.  As a writer, I don’t have to worry about concussions. 

If I had been an athlete (especially a football player), I’m at the age where I might not be able to think clearly anymore.  I like thinking clearly.  I have enough trouble thinking clearly without having taken so many shots to the head.  I’m glad that my passion (though maybe not too much talent) is in something that doesn’t physically hurt me.  

Concussions in football are not the only dangers athletes face.  Basketball players can get an elbow in the face.  Baseball players can get a fastball to the chin or a line drive upside the head.  Gymnasts take really bad falls. Writers only get piles of rejection slips from publishers and literary agents. 

DISCLAIMER:  I have been conked on the head once, but it wasn’t because I was a writer (or an athlete).  It has something to do with strippers, and I learned my lesson (one of those lessons was to call them “entertainers”). 

Writers don’t have to worry about concussions or any other injuries while writing.  Athletes have to worry about concussions and other injuries that might affect their quality of life.  Concussions suck.  Writers win again. 


For more about why it’s better to be a writer than an athlete, read More Proof That It’s Better to be a Writer Than an Athlete .

  1. Plus, writers get all the chicks! 🙂

  2. Writers have longer careers if they’re good. No matter how good an athlete is, mother nature will find you and end your career before you’re ready.

  3. I like this. I may print it out and tape it to my wall. Not my Facebook wall, my actual wall. Old school style.

  4. Now that just makes good sense.

  5. Joel permalink

    I love it. Very funny, and of course you’re perfectly correct, writers have nothing to fear. But could you please tell me when those testers are stopping by? I just have a lot of cleaning to do if I’m expecting company.

  6. Amazing insights that I will have to remember for later drunken arguments with friends.

  7. Writing IS the drug. ^_^

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