I wanted to be a professional athlete my entire life and as I've gotten older I'm starting to realize more and more that it was because it would give me a singular focus to work on. 

No distractions, nothing to grab my attention. Just tunnel vision and working on being the best possible athlete I could be. 

But Ichiro, takes things to a whole other level:

The first time he went on the disabled list as a major leaguer was because of a bleeding stomach ulcer. That year, he’d led Japan to a victory in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, winning the final game with a base hit in extra innings. The stress ate a hole in his stomach. Weeks later, a Mariners team doctor told him he couldn’t play on Opening Day. Ichiro refused to listen, his teammate Sweeney says. Before the team ultimately forced him to sit, the doctor tried to explain that a bleeding ulcer was a serious condition that could actually kill him.

Ichiro listened, unmoved.

”I’ll take my chances,” he said.