Forget the HYPE and learn from Rafa

This past weekend in Flushing Meadows, NY, Rafael Nadal won the biggest tournament in the world.  The US Open is the crown jewel of tennis and the winner’s trophy is accompanied by a check for 3.85 million dollars.  In a year of hype over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Rafa quietly won half of the 2019 Grand Slams.  At 33, this Spanish superstar has it all!  Everything this humble man does is done with an unbelievable charm and quiet dignity.

Nadal lets his tennis talk for itself, and 19 Grand Slam titles sounds pretty loud!  His girlfriend, and soon to be wife, is stunning and her beauty lights up the court every match she attends.  Rafa lives in a community that he purchased for his relatives.  Even with his incredible charity work, and his generosity to family, he still has tons of money.  His newly purchased yacht needed to be bigger than the old one, there wasn’t enough room for guests.  Nadal also loves watches, and has a $50K time piece on his wrist. 

With all that fame, fortune, and luck, Rafa never brags - he looks uncomfortable when praised.  Nadal focuses on those things he can control.  His practice routine is legendary, and few athletes can maintain such a high intensity workout for that long.  On the court, Rafa plays every point hard.  Every shot, every serve, every change over, is done with myopic focus, and everything is intense.  Fans don’t expect Rafael to smile, but they love when he takes off his shirt to show a superhero-like body.  Yes, many find him gorgeous with a kind smile and a easy way about him. 

When he accepted the winner’s trophy on Sunday, tears filled his eyes.  This humble tennis legend is a warrior and never have I have seen a man with more grit.  There he stood, accepting history, and he looked grateful for the roar of the fans.  They love him, and I agree, he is the stuff of legends.  One interview after another, Nadal never changed, he was happy for the attention and humble about his accomplishments.

Men’s tennis is a gold standard of sports.  2019 will be the end of the 3 living legends playing together. Age can’t be denied and Federer and Djokovic had serious injuries that showed during the Open.  Nadal, without any fanfare, might end 2019 in the #1 position.  Rafael Nadal is a force of nature and has the potential to win more Grand Slams than Roger Federer, maybe to become the GOAT?!  He is already history’s greatest clay court player - could Wimbledon be in play in 2020? 

One thing is for sure, Rafael Nadal is the coolest athlete in the world.  Rich, handsome, adored by friends and family, an amazing tennis player, a generous humanitarian, and humble.  I could never be him, but I try to learn from him.  Practice like you play, HARD!  Life gives you a limited amount of chances, so hit the shit out of the ball every time.  Food is wonderful, but being totally in control of your body takes dedication to diet.  Only eat foods that make your body work well and feel great even if it’s the same thing before every match.  Smile! Why not, it makes others smile, too.  Most importantly, never look at the score, always play to win.  Like life, tennis is a game of heart, and you need a great deal of it to win a Grand Slam Tournament.