August 24, 2010
As any workout buff can tell you, when you're in the gym there is no better motivation than having someone there to help you and push you to your limits. That person can be there to give you that little extra oomph you need to set your new one-rep record or increase your VO2 max or some other fitness term. It's just good to have a buddy there, keeping you safe and making you work hard. If that buddy happens to be a professional athlete, even better.
And if that professional athlete happens to be a strikingly beautiful world champion, then you've really hit the workout jackpot, just like Sasha Vujacic(notes). He's getting ready for next season by training in Florida with his girlfriend, tennis star Maria Sharapova. Pretty good gig, if you can get it. From FanHouse's Tim Povtak:
"It's interesting,'' Vujacic told FanHouse over the weekend. "She has helped me. We've helped each other, I think. As two pro athletes -- in different sports -- we both understand what the other is doing and going through, and what it takes to do well in what we do. She's working hard. I'm working hard. It's good together.''
It was Sharapova who convinced Vujacic to come to Florida last week to train for the first time at the acclaimed IMG Academy in Bradenton, where she has trained most of her athletic life.
She is preparing for the U.S. Open that begins later this month in New York. And while she was on the tennis court under the steaming midday sun, he was in the gymnasium 50 feet away, sweating through his own shirt, too. They were doing completely different workouts, on different courts, but they were pushing each other.
Oh, super cute. She'll help him with his backhand, stamina and mental preparation, and he'll help her with missing open corner 3-pointers, annoying almost everyone, and the development of hilarious nicknames. Machine zing!
But really, this is good news for the myriad Sasha Vujacic fans out there. While training alongside a world-class athlete — even if they're not playing the same sport or doing the same routine — he's bound to get better, just from the two of them pushing each other. Factor in that this is a contract year for Vujacic and that after a horrible season, he needs to prove that he's worth another NBA contract, and the Lakers might have a decent player on their hands. At the very least, he'll be a decent trade chip.
And if none of this works out, at least Sasha got to spend the summer in Florida hanging out with Maria Sharapova. When it comes to tropical location sidekicks, a lot of people would choose her over Chris Bosh(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes).
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