On Being Here.

8am at the track on a weekend morning, earlier than everyone else (other than the track staff) once again.

Took a long hard look at myself after Saturday’s session, because I’ve realised that I’ve been working hard, really hard. I would dare say at least as hard as the elite athletes here, but I’m still so damn far away from the standard that I wanted to be at.

I ran my 4x300m off 5 min rest and I was struggling to keep to 47s. In comparison, someone like Trey Hardee who won the last world championship in decathlon does a 4x300m session off 4 min at a 40s pace.

The other thing that is really hitting me now is that because I’m no longer a student here, there really isn’t any other reason on why I should be here anymore.

Sitting there on the empty track really made me realise that working hard isn’t enough.

You see the truth is, genetics actually does play a large part in your sporting and physical performance. I’m sorry to break your heart but after studying a degree in sports science and seeing the data, it’s true. A recent show on BBC titled The Truth about Exercise does a good job of presenting some of the research and evidence (and you’ll get a chance to see my brilliant university and where I train at, however you can only watch it from the link if you live in the UK unfortunately).

Marketers like to tell you that you can become anything if you wear the right shoes, whilst all the people who tell you that hard work will get you anywhere got there by working hard.

It is human nature, as Derren Brown puts it, that we have a singular view of life and thus you don’t see how the other 99.99% that worked hard but failed because those are the guys that don’t end up on TV ads.

I’m sorry if you’re a little disappointed that I would say such a thing, but I think the harsh reality is out there and sometimes there’s no other way but to face it.

What genetics doesn’t determine however, is whether or not you live up to your potential. The other big truth out there is that most people never ever come close. When you reach my age, the ripe old age of almost being around for a quarter of a century, you get to see your peers around you just settle into the ordinary, unfortunate, but true too.

And so I asked myself honestly, why am I still here and why am I still doing this?

For some time I wasn’t too sure, but I think I’ve found the answer.

I still believe.

I still believe that there is a lot to learn and that come summer, when I finish a decathlon feeling competent in all 10 events, I know my journey would have been complete. I’ll know that I’m not afraid to go through the pains and the struggles, that I have the guts to see it through.

I think the trip so far has driven me through a range of experiences and emotions that has made my life anything but dull, and as a result I’ve learnt a lot about myself more than just what I’ve learnt on the track.

As I’ve said before, hands of fate deals you the cards, you just have to play your best hand. There are a lot of things in life you cannot control, but what you can control, make the best out of it, no matter how bleak it might seem.

And every day as long as I can say the following, then there’s a reason to be here still and there’s a reason to be happy.

Can't trace the original, saw this on my fb feed. Someone's covered the watermark unfortunately.

I still believe that life is what you make out of it and that it is a choice whether you choose to give your best shot or just get by.

The struggle to fund myself in my sporting pursuits has led me into property investment and other business ventures whilst the lessons I’ve learnt from my sport gave me the confidence to build my own life as I see fit. A lot of it is learning to accept the hard work and to get the methods right to push yourself ahead.

And just like what I said in a recent post, you can’t be afraid to start all over again. I’ve been lazy on my stock portfolio and my method wasn’t sound, luckily I bought at a right price so that most of them made enough money to cover one big mistake and some, thus I’m cutting my loss and liquidating everything so that I can start all over again.

I do sincerely hope you give life your best shot, for another other truth is, you’d never know until you try.

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