Soccer has been my passion, my life, and my everything since before I can even remember. I have given this sport all of my time and commitment from the very beginning. It is a blessing that I found my passion so early in life when so many people count it a blessing just to discover a passion at all. This gift is something that I do not take and have never taken for granted.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Prefontaine and I have lived my life by his motto: “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” For example, anybody that has ever seen me play soccer can attest that I am by no stretch of the imagination the fastest or most athletic player. My work rate and technical superiority have always been my bread and butter. Although sometimes I feel like when I run I am running underwater next to some of the freak athletes who I have played with and against since becoming a professional.
A very smart coach once told me that Navy Seals don't rise to the level of the occasion, but instead they fall to the level of their training. That saying is something that deeply resonated with me because it is that mentality in which I attribute my success in soccer. I have always made sure to surround myself with the best possible fitness coaches to improve my speed, strength, explosiveness, movement, and endurance. I incorporate yoga in to my everyday life to increase flexibility and core strength. I watch film on myself, on the competition, past, and present. I use all different forms of expedited recovery such as cryotherapy, sensory deprivation tanks, compression technology, and deep tissue massages. I make sure my diet is full of the highest quality nutrients available.
Each of these things gives me a slight advantage over the competition. Until this year there was one substantial benefit that I had not incorporated in to my regimen. That benefit is a quality mattress. I never thought of a mattress as something that could give me an advantage. I always thought that mattresses were a dime a dozen. Even so I have never gone cheap on any mattress I have owned in my life. My mattresses were name brand pillow top consumer hits, but until now I had little knowledge of the benefits of memory foam for athletes.
I have been sleeping on my 4Sleep memory foam mattress for about a month now and there were varying benefits that I experienced after the first night, the first week, and the first month!
Firstly, there was an incredible benefit that I noticed just after one night! I was amazed at how cool the mattress was able to keep me throughout the night. For whatever reason, I have always had a temperature issue during the night. I get so hot that I end up tossing and turning to try to find the cool spot on the mattress. After my first night on the memory foam mattress, I woke up feeling more rejuvenated than I did after finishing my first week of preseason. I remember feeling so confused when I woke up because I hardly ever sleep straight through the night. So, when I woke up and the sun was shining, I think I had a mini panic attack that I had actually slept the entire day.
Secondly, after the first week of sleeping on the 4Sleep mattress I began to notice actual physical benefits in my body. I usually sleep on my side so it was always difficult to find a comfortable position on my previous mattress. However, with the memory foam mattress I found a support to my shoulder and hips that I had never before felt. This support was corroborated by my chiropractor who noticed an astonishing improvement in my alignment and this was only after one week of sleeping on my new mattress.
Lastly, after one month of sleeping on my memory foam mattress I am still feeling new benefits every day. The adaptability of the memory foam to the contours of my body in conjunction with the 4Sleep cooling technology has created a completely new sleeping experience for me. I am able to find a comfortable sleeping position with ease so I fall asleep significantly quicker. I don't toss and turn during the night because the 4Sleep mattress doesn't absorb my heat, which allows me to stay in REM for the longest possible duration of time. The support of the memory foam mattress has improved my alignment and therefore made me a more resilient athlete with much shorter recovery times after difficult trainings and games. Most recently, I have noticed that even my muscles feel better because around this time of year (the end of preseason) my body is usually fairly fatigued with even slight muscle strains. However, I have never felt better and more ready to start the season than I do right now and the only difference from this year to years’ past is the mattress that I sleep on every night.
After experiencing all of these incredible benefits over the past month I am kicking myself for not getting the high quality 4Sleep mattress before. I mean I spend ideally 8 hours per night on my mattress, which is more time than I spend on any piece of furniture or at any one place for that matter. I was foolish to not get the very best mattress on the market as an athlete who relies on his preparation and multitude of advantages to outperform the competition and succeed. Unfortunately, I was not giving myself every possible advantage until I found 4Sleep. Only now can I truly say that I am encompassing Prefontaine’s motto and giving it my absolute best, and not sacrificing the gift!