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For most sports fans growing up the dream was to one day play sports and not just watch them on television. Growing up rooting for your favorite athletes and teams fostered a sense of envy in you. You wanted to be just like Michael Jordan or Michael Strahan. You wanted to grow up and one day play for the Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Giants.

The thing is that unless you had the talent, drive, determination and motivation to do everything asked of you to be a star athlete, an athlete like the ones you see in the halls of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, then your dream of becoming an athlete and playing sports for a living probably fizzled out at some point. While it's true that a lot of athletes are born with superior talents, most athletes have to work extra hard to start and continue on with their sports career.

Athletes don't just use their talents to play in a game and then call it a day afterward. It's not as simple as that. If it were then a lot more people working day jobs would be playing sports for a career. Most athletes have to spend countless hours training and practicing to hone their skills and stay fit. Fitness and training is one of the most important aspects of any athlete's career that allows them to have a long and fulfilling career.

Without that fitness and training regiment in their daily lives they wouldn't be able to compete at a high level against other world athletes. Every athlete in competitive sports is competing with and against fellow athletes who are in the best shape of their lives. They need to be in tip-top condition if they expect to make any impact on the field, court, or ice. An athlete who doesn't workout every day or train every day isn't much of an athlete. They need to work out and exercise each day, even on game day, to keep playing at the high level they're accustomed to. They know that if they don't train and stay fit that somebody else out there is and that person will take their job.

All the athletes you see in the halls of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame had fitness programs that helped them get into the hall. Whether they lifted weights or rode the treadmill they were participating in some form of fitness and training program. There is no off day when you're an athlete.

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