One of the fastest bowlers of all time, former Australian cricketer Brett Lee, is known for his athleticism on and off the field. In a chat with Hassan M Kamal, he talks about how he manages to stay fit despite long hours of travel
He may have retired from international cricket, and won’t be seen in any of the upcoming IPL matches, but cricket or no cricket, fitness remains top priority for former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee.
Irrespective of where he is, Lee never forgets two things: his guitar and his running. “Music helps me de-stress whereas running keeps me fit,” says the 37-year-old former cricketer who was in the city last week on behalf of Tourism Victoria to promote Melbourne as a travel destination.
A variety of running exercises like running with a parachute helped Brett Lee bowl fast. Pic/ Getty Images
He holds the record for bowling one of the fastest balls in the history of world cricket (clocked at 160.8 kmph, 2005). Often, he would bowl his spell in a match averaging 150kmph. Bowling at such a high speed constantly can lead to several injuries, but despite the killing regime, the cricketer has managed to make several comebacks, one after another, until he retired from international cricket in 2012.
Lee never forgets to run
His mantras are clear: “Fitness is a part of you. I have always stayed focussed on fitness. Besides, I have always been proud of my being fit, and even though I am not playing cricket, I want to stay fit, and healthy. I don’t want it to go away.” Lee works out regularly. While travelling, he ensures that he is able to train on the treadmill for an hour before stepping out. “I never forget to run,” he says.
Diet is what you eat
An equal part of staying fit is diet, but Lee likes to go easy on that. In fact, Lee doesn’t follow a special diet. “Everyone says that you got to have a diet. But for me, it’s not about diet. It’s about eating smart. Diet is what you eat. But if you have to pay attention, try to reduce on your fat and butter, a little bit of it is okay,” he maintains.
Never skip meals
Lee eats three meals a day — breakfast, lunch and dinner. No matter what happens, he never skips a single meal. In between, he prefers munching on nuts or fruits. “I always try to eat healthy. I eat a lot of grains, fish and chicken. But you have to make sure that your portions are balanced, so that your input is equal to your need,” he reasons.
Find your balance
Being a sports person doesn’t only require one to stay fit physically, but be mentally strong as well. Especially when a bad day on the field doesn’t end there and continues to haunt you for days, and at times, months. Lee reminds, “Everyone goes through tough times. When you’re having the best time in the world, you’re up there, and when things are not going good, you’re down there. You are always riding an emotional wave all the time. It’s important to find a balance.” Lee finds balance with his music: “It helps me de-stress and focus. I try to surround myself with good people. And, this works.”