On London 2012

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And so, the London 2012 Olympics is over.

Finally went down to London on the last day of the games and managed to see the Men’s marathon, visited the Olympic Park (couldn’t quite get in because I had no tickets, but the shopping mall right next to the Park felt like it as there were loads of people from all over the world and Olympians in their team kits just roaming around) and watched the closing ceremony on a big screen at Victoria park with thousands of others.

Gosh, what an amazing and electric atmosphere! Everywhere you went in London you could see people from all over the world draped in their national flags, smiling and laughing, mixing around with total strangers from another part of the world.

And I think that is what the Olympics represent, yes it is a bubble, but it just shows humanity at its best and gives us a glimpse of hope of what the future could be.

Watching the closing ceremony of the games, especially during the athletes march in, I just kept thinking, how I was I was there part of it. Not as a spectator in the stands, but as one of the athletes.

These whole Games had been brilliant and I must say I’m gutted not to have made it.

I still remember back in 2005 when I watched how London won its Olympic bid back in Singapore, I was 18 then. I did quick calculations and thought, in 7 years I’ll be 25. That would be when most athletes peaked, thus the perfect opportunity for me to go for the Games.

It feels funny to be now at the other side of that 7 year tunnel, I am 25, and still about 3500 points short of the Olympic qualifying mark for decathlon.
I guess back then I just thought that is I believed it enough, wrote it down on the wall, go to the right places, somehow it would happen.

I talked myself into it, I talked everyone around who cared to listen about it and soon I became known as the guy who was going for the Olympics.

But the one most important thing was missing, the performance.

I only did my first decathlon in 2010, that’s a good 5 years after I first dreamt about making it to the London Games. And the part that was unforgivable was that many of the 10 events I only first competed then in 2010, even though I could have done so back in Singapore individually (Singapore does not have any decathlon competitions). Yes I was injured from my army days and everything, but I can’t help but think that I could have done more. If I had so, that would have been an additional 5 years of sprint and running training I could have gotten by now.

As you get older in life, you realise that you have a very short window to live out your full physical potential and do what you want to do.

But that is all in my past now and the saying goes, you can only understand life going backwards but you have to live life going forwards.

So what is my future going to be life? What will 7 years ahead look like?
Well, I’ll be 32, if I live that long that is (I sure do hope so, but as everything else, you’d never know).

I was doing 400m training on Saturday and I was just way off pace.
Sometimes I do feel that perhaps it’s a case of me not being talented enough to become a decathlete, it’s hard enough to be good in any 1 event, let alone 10.

Yet on the other hand I feel that I’m in the perfect event because I will never have the talent to make it to the Olympics as any one single eventer, but as a decathlete, becoming fit and skilled, I can.

Becoming fit and skilled is not about talent but about hard work.

And the question is, have I actually worked as hard and as smart as I could have all these years?

No.

Like these 400m sessions, I really dislike them and haven’t been doing much of them, but that is exactly what I always needed to be done.

So do I continue? Do I keep going on this path?

I won’t kid you, I desperately want to, for I know there is still a lot of points in the decathlon that could still be gained.

Will I reach Rio in 2016?

I’ll be entirely honest with you, I don’t know.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. – Samuel Beckett 

I guess this time I’ve wised up, not like the young naïve kid when I was 18, I’ve learnt that just because you write it down doesn’t mean it’ll come true.

But I do know that if I work hard and take advantage of all that I have learnt and put myself through these few years, there is a lot more in me before I reach the limits of my potential.

And where will that lead me?

I’m not sure, but then when the time comes, I’ll experience.

For now, I’ll just imagine, and continue working my arse off.

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