2022 Part 3 (Finale): A little secret…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

But before that, let me remind you of the first two parts in this series –

In Part 1 of my 2022 season debrief, I remind myself and you guys of the victories I’ve achieved in this second wind of my athletics’ career, culminating in the high of qualifying for and competing at my first Olympic Games – the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games. However, I then realised that having been so focused on that end goal of qualifying for an Olympics, I forgot to reset my focus and goals for the coming years.

In Part 2 of my 2022 season debrief, I share three questions I’ll be asking myself ahead of my 2023 athletics campaign (and in business, relationships and life, for that matter) to get a better, happier, more fulfilling result and reflection going forwards.

So, now to Part 3 – the final instalment and that little secret I promised you above…

Guys, this may come as a surprise to some of you, whilst others of you might just shrug your shoulders and think, ‘well duh‘, but….and please keep this one close to your chest… I’d half-planned to retire at the end of this 2022 season.

Well, by half-planned, I was pretty much 90% certain…

But, as the old Yiddish saying goes: “Der Mensch Tracht, Un Gott Lacht.”

Guys, I’ve been so uncompetitive this year, there’s absolutely no way I can leave the sport I love on such a dissatisfying end. I want to leave on my terms – or at least as close to my terms as possible!

So, because I’m going again, reflection is key to avoid repeating the same mistakes. So here’s a final thought on what I’ve learned this year –

If I drop my head to focus on the sand pit when I take off at the board, I end up over-rotating and face-planting into the pit with a disappointing distance.

But if I keep my head up, my shoulders rise, my hips stay high and I fly…far.

Photo by Adam Roussak – Abigail Irozuru competing at The British Championships, Manchester UK ,June 2022

Mindset: To retire or compete

This is the first analogy that comes to mind when I reflect on my mindset around retirement and competition this season.

My head has been focused on the sandpit – but in the worst way possible.

And that’s led to many, many disappointing distances.

I’ve been looking down – at retirement, instead of up – at being competitive.

I’ve been focusing on the end of my career, rather than the excitement of competing and achieving my fullest potential.

Every competition has been leading me one step closer to my last; when I now know every competition should have been leading me one step closer to my best.

These are subtle mindset shifts; they always are.

But if I’m subtly shifting my mindset downwards by even 0.01% every day for 365 days, that’s almost 3.65% off-kilter in the wrong direction. And being 3.65% worse than I was last year equates to approx. 25cm, which surprisingly accurately reflects my 2022 season (best of 6.59m)! LOL!

So, the lesson I’ve been reminded of is this: you get what you focus on.

Let me say that again for full effect.

YOU GET WHAT YOU FOCUS ON.

I know, I know. This isn’t ground-breaking stuff!

But it is always worth reminding myself (and you) of these principles (read Part One & Part Two for greater context and more principles), even if they feel cliche!

So, what will you choose to focus on as we near the final quarter of 2022?

It’s not too late to look up 😉

Abs x

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