It’s been a while.
And that’s why this post is a longer 2-minute read. So if you’d like to skip ahead to the update and message, scroll down to the ‘if not, in a nutshell’ summary!
As a reminder, everything I write about (and think about and pray about) boils down to this: How can I live my best life whilst inspiring and equipping others to live their best lives too?
Inspiration comes through my achievements and my failings; well, not the failings per se, but more-so my response to my failings. I truly believe that quality to be one of my strengths in life – facing challenges head on, with a fearless attitude. A fearless attitude, by the way, doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m fearless; it simply means that I choose to be more emboldened by faith than dimmed and dispirited by fear. You have that choice too, by the way. And you can choose faith over fear.
No matter how lofty the goal, athletes always seek greater things than what seems possible. We’re like Icarus and the sun.
I guess, what’s been most inspiring this past month (July 2018) has been my comeback to athletics despite all the previous heartache I’ve faced. I don’t know whether you remember my disappointments in 2015 and my even greater disappointment in 2016 that led to my retirement (follow the link if not) but, they really happened. I was officially retired (even wiki said so). But I’m back. I couldn’t stay away. Because I am truly passionate about my success and fulfilling God’s calling on my life to be a supreme athlete, so I had to keep going.
So I found myself a coach in January of this year and we created a plan, we executed the plan – as far as possible with numerous adaptations around my niggles – and we hit one goal, but missed another. The main goal was to compete at the European Championships in Berlin (currently taking place as I type). That goal was a lofty one, but I sought it nonetheless. And it hurt when I didn’t achieve it.
No matter how lofty the goal, athletes always seek greater things than what seems possible. We’re like Icarus and the sun. The sun is our goal – our gold medal, our PB or National Record. We pursue it fiercely. Just like Icarus; yet, even in our fear we jump anyway. And whether we reach the sun or not, we soar to higher heights than most and we have an amazing story to tell when we fall back down to earth!
What have you been knocked by recently? What has blown the wind out of your sails?
Go back to the plan. If it needs changing, change it. If it still looks good, stick with it.
Because here’s what I’ve learned this year. My plan is great. It works. But what failed me wasn’t the plan; it was time. The time it would take to execute the plan was too onerous.
‘Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime.’
I need more time to be great again. It takes time for your hard work and dedication to produce fruit. I’ve planted the seed, I’m watering it through training, eating right, looking after my body, and all the other necessary processes that come with being a top athlete, and now it’s time to wait for the seedling to grow. I’m in a season of waiting. How about you?
What season are you in?
Identify your season below:
- Review the plan (Reflect) – SPRING
- EITHER Throw away the plan and start again (if it sucks!) [Spring cleaning]
- OR Keep the plan and keep going (if it looks good!) [Spring cleaning doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away! It simply exposes the beautiful things you have that work and that you love.]
- Wait for growth (Push) – WINTER – (whilst remaining diligent in your work, i.e. right now I’m going to the track despite the fact my main goal for the year has ended. I’ve reset the goal posts so that now I seek a solid end and a bigger distance even though it doesn’t necessarily have any impact on this year’s Champs. I’m doing this for inner contentment rather than external praise and achievement). This is sometimes referred to as the ‘winter grind’ and I’ll be experiencing this again come October! Eeek.
- Wait for growth (Rest) – AUTUMN/FALL (in rest, i.e. off-season for me can last 4-6 weeks and mine starts in about 2 weeks. I will literally not even look at a track, let alone run or jump on one, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s necessary to remain healthy and perform at my best when it matters).
- Standing on the podium. (Celebrate) SUMMER! This season where you’re getting PBs galore, being selected for your very own Olympic Games (in whatever form that might take) and winning gold medals is AMAZING! I can’t wait for this. I’m excited for you if you’re at this point right now. YOU DESERVE IT!
Finally, sometimes I can really go off-track (pun intended) so I hope you grasped the message and the update that I’m trying to share.
If not, in a nutshell…
I competed this year for the first time since my achilles rupture and retirement in April 2016. It was probably one of my most consistent seasons jumping around the 6.50/6.60m mark which bodes well for next year. I achieved my first goal of hitting the European Championships’ standard of 6.60m in my third competition of the season in Marseille, France. However, I am currently number five in the country and I did not get selected for the European Champs in Berlin. (Sad face).
“I’m in a season of waiting. I trust the program. It works. I’ll review it again with my coach, [Tom Cullen] of course but I believe in it and I believe that God has placed me here in [Manchester] and with this coach in this environment with this plan for a reason. Growth is happening. Sometimes it’s painful (ever heard of growing pains?) but there is always beauty in it. And, because life is seasonal, my podium moments are coming. Watch this space.”
Insert your own coach’s name and situation/location in the brackets [ ] and use this as your own personal positive statement/affirmation for your season of waiting. If you’d like a statement for one of the other seasons that you’re in, request one here. And if you are unsure about what season you’re in, scroll up to ‘what season are you in?’
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