One of the moto’s I have always lived by is; “if you are going to do something, bloody well do it”. Immerse yourself in something, risk greatly, invest in what you are doing and above all be PASSIONATE about it.
“Get in and get your hands dirty”
To me there isn’t any other way to live and I really don’t think there is any other way to get the most out of yourself and really find out what you are capable of. It is very easy to hold a little bit back because if you fully commit yourself to something, especially if it is something that is hard to achieve, then you are risking a lot without any assurance of a reward. This means that you are not FULLY investing, FULLY committing and not putting your neck on the chopping block so to speak. But in doing this, you are definitely not going to get the most out of yourself. I think typically this is because people can be scared of a feeling of failure if they an ‘all in’ attitude. As if they don’t succeed it can really hurt and comes with a lot of disappointment if things don’t go to plan!
The feeling of not wanting to ‘falling short’ is obviously totally normal and something that everyone has. But the key thing about this is not to yield to it and be prepared to really put it all out there, even if there is no assurance of success. It is also vital to continue to front up time and time again without success and without being deterred in any way. To be 110% totally committed to achieve what you want, despite past ‘failings’ is a skill that champions in their fields have refined and rehearsed over and over.
To be able to see this in a different light than just straight failure is also a difficult thing to do at the time, but vital to future success. By not succeeding the first time (or second or fifth times) you commit can be a hugely valuable learning tool. By having a meticulous and honest assessment of why you weren’t successful, what needs to be changed or adapted and the and to improve on it next time puts you much closer to success next time you try. It can also be a hugely motivating tool to not succeed if approached in the right way. It can add a LOT of fuel to the fire to drive you harder and further for the next time you attempt it.
On a personal note, I missed Melbourne Ironman this year, when in the last few weeks before the race a recurrent foot problem I have, reared its head. I fully committed to my goal there of going sub 9 hours there – averaging 25+ hours per week of training for about 4-5 months, while juggling a new young family and two businesses. But when it reoccured in month before, I knew I had Kona in October and I would have jeopardised my foot being so bad that there was a good chance I wouldn’t be able to race on the Big Island, so I made the tough but correct decision to sit on the side lines!
After it had settled I started another tough prep to Kona and two weeks ago was again far and away the fittest I had been across all three disciplines. Then lo and behold, without any warning, my foot fractured in the Sunshine Coast 70.3 despite me running easy to save the body for training. So, there we are. Another solid swing and a miss! Prior to leaving I had seen a specialist and he says I am extremely unlucky and hadn’t seen this happen in the 20 years he had worked! Great!!!!
Then to add salt to the wounds, yesterday I kicked the corner of the couch here in Kona very hard with my good foot and have broken my 4th toe on my previously ‘good’ left foot, making getting around in a boot very difficult!
When it doesn’t rain it pours!
So unfortunately I won’t be able to run here in Kona and perhaps not bike either the way my feet are feeling. Which is hugely disappointing for it to happen especially after Melbourne earlier in the year!
I am obviously putting most energy now into helping our boys who are racing – Alex Thorpe, Adam Becker and Andrew Carracher, who are all ready to roll!
I am also using the trip to learn as much as I can about the course, what it takes to qualify and to meet plenty of people hear different ideas! On top of this, the focus is also to have a great holiday with friends and family who have travelled all the way over to Kona!!! I cannot thank them enough for their support during an otherwise tricky time.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to my awesome personal sponsors; TORQ Nutrition, Champion System Australia, Blue Seventy and Skin Strong for their ongoing support.
I am going to use this as a learning tool to help me to improve myself for the next time and also it isn’t hard to find the motivation from both incidents for the next big race! So next time the prep or a race gets hard, it will never be as hard as the disappointment of this situation. And secondly and EXTREMELY importantly – when it does come off, when I achieve the goal, I know the sense of satisfaction after enduring some tough times will be worth every second!
Dare to bite off more than you can chew, remember that set backs are normal and don’t let them discourage you and above all – be PASSIONATE about what you do! It is the only way!!!