Athletes are known to endure grueling workouts and extreme meal plans in order to stay in peak-condition. They are so passionate about their sport that they are willing to push through somewhat dangerous circumstances. For example, Clint Dempsey played soccer throughout the entire 2014 World Cup, even though he had suffered a nasal fracture. Some athletes do battle with rejection and critique. Still, they refuse to give up.
While persevering in the face of critics or a broken nose can be inspiring, sports sometimes demand borderline-risky behaviors from competitors. The above clip from the documentary Glena , shows what Glena Avila had to do to make the cut for an upcoming fight. (Gawker has an extended version of the clip.) Avila is working out — hard — to dehydrate herself in order to "make weight." She needs to lose a pound of water weight.
Fervently working out to dehydrate oneself is a common and controversial practice in many sports that have defined weight classes, like mixed martial arts (MMA), boxing, wrestling, and crew. “I’m still so dizzy,” Avila says.
The sports documentary focuses on Avila, a single mother in her mid-thirties who lives in Oregon. She is trying to make a name for herself as a mixed martial arts fighter. Glena debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival in January of this year, and it just had its world broadcast premier on Showtime last night. (If you missed it, it’s still airing and is available on demand.) It focuses on the sacrifices she has to make to fight for her dream — and asks whether those sacrifices are ultimately worth it. “I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t at least try,” she says in the trailer on the film's website.
MMA is an extreme sport, and it often demands its competitors make extreme sacrifices. Avila's journey is just one example.