Michael Phelps has dedicated his earthly life to swimming and has become so successful that he has won more gold metals than any other athlete ever! His unique earthly distinction as being The Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time came at a great price:
In peak training phases, Phelps swims minimum 80,000 meters a week, which is nearly 50 miles. He practices twice a day, sometimes more if he’s training at altitude. Phelps trains for around five to six hours a day at six days a week.
He has spent years in strict training and practice with his orange kickboard nicknamed Big O to prepare his body to win 18 gold metals! One source said:
Nothing symbolizes the tedious, taxing, interminable work of practice like the kickboard. It’s put away when it’s time to race, but it’s essential equipment during training. You can’t become a great swimmer without a great kick, because the demand on the legs is immense.
At 6’4″ and only 165 pounds, his bodily exercise and 8,000 to 12,000 calorie diet, (including pizza and pasta) has yielded solid muscles and lungs:
Phelps recently added a weightlifting regimen to his dry-land work, which is evident by his ripped six pack abs and body. He lifts weights 3 days a week, preferably on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However, Phelps prefers bodyweight exercises like pushups and weighted pull-ups for muscular strength and endurance.
Michael Phelps Has Earned A Crown That Will Not Last
Believe it or not, nearly 2,000 years ago the Apostle Paul wrote about the Olympic games and strict training. What he stated directly relates to Michael Phelps and other athletes of our day, who envy him:
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Cor 9:25)
Michael Phelps’ temporary crown and glory are like the flowers of the field, which will soon fade away (1 Pet. 1:24) as it has for other athletes of the past! His young uncertain life of 27 can abruptly end at anytime—then what? One day he will leave his gold metals and fame behind, as he enters eternity. Will Michael Phelps be ready for that inevitable event. His approaching death gets closer every second! At the Judgment before God no athletic accomplishments, for anyone, will mean anything. Hence, they are not really important. The Apostle Paul continued on:
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:26,27, NKJV)
Paul was in a spiritual race and fight, but not to be the best athlete. His battle was for God’s truth to be protected and spread as far and as wide as possible. He had weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left (2 Cor 6:7), but they were not the weapons of the world (2 Cor 10:3,4). He also knew he himself could become a castaway and be disqualified for the prize, even after preaching to others (1 Cor. 9:27)!
Paul Trained For a Crown Which Will Last Forever
Paul exalted training in godliness and being faithful to God. He was striving for a different type of crown, including the crown of life and crown of righteousness. His goals and strict training, therefore, were much higher and different than any Olympian athlete:
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Tim 2:3-5)
QUESTION: What are your life’s priorities? Are they Bible-based and in accord with God’s will? If not, now is the time to make vital changes, which will benefit you throughout eternity. Your SOUL is your most valuable possession and to be wise you must put God’s word into practice (Mt. 7:24). Make your life count for God and don’t waste it as many well known people have, including Elvis Presley.