On Starting All Over Again.

There are the guys doing the drills on the high hurdles on the left, the girls on the low hurdles in the middle and then there's me on the right.

Hurdles session today taught me one great lesson, that it’s important to have the strength to start all over again.

It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with my sprint hurdles this two years, in fact I’ve never ran a clean race with a 3 stride rhythm before. The problem was that unlike others who had the technical foundation laid down through the years of growing up (when hurdle heights start low and get higher as you get older), I went straight into it trying to sprint through high hurdles.

George, my Polish hurdles coach, told me today ‘When do anything bad, go back to basics, start all over again. Low hurdles first until perfect, then higher will be perfect.’

I do have a tendency of wanting to train over higher hurdles as I feel the pressure to be race ready soon, but there’s no short cut to competency. As another guru puts it: The mastery of proper fundamentals and their progressive application is the secret of being a great fighter. – Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do.

So George made me go do drills over the lowest hurdles there are at the track (I don’t think you can get hurdles any lower than those). And sure enough, I was struggling. Doing high knee drills over them whilst not changing the rhythm and not trying to jump over them was difficult, I even tripped over one and fell flat on my back.

But I soon got the hang of it and then I went to the track and sprinted over some 91cm hurdles (Men’s Senior height is 1.067m, or 2 clicks up).

For the first time in my life, I felt I was sprinting though hurdles and not jumping over them.

I guess just like everything else in life I feel pressured to succeed instantly, always trying too much too fast, rather than focusing on doing the fundamentals right.

Comparing myself to my peers back home, many whom have already moved on with their careers or achieved much more success than myself, I feel like I’m a let-down. But in the end, the race in life is with yourself and not with anyone else.

I think sometimes the Singaporean society makes it such that if you don’t make it at any point of time, then you have failed according to their rules. But the truth is, you can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing.

It’s never too late to be who you want to be.

I hope you have the strength to start all over again.


  1. All Brute and no Brains. Once says:

    Priceless advice.

    How many of us actually have focused on complete mastery of the fundamentals, form or technique and not turn to other means of training as the main means to improve our performances? I remember the days when I tried to continually exceed my strength limits as a means to improve my performance but without the proper technique it is near impossible to utilize that well of power.

    If you want to run faster, run. If you want to jump higher, jump. If you want to throw further, throw.

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