The Price of Success

Don’t get me wrong, I, like most people enjoy a good ol’ motivational quote every now and then. A carefully assembled and seemingly wise or inspiring set of words you personally identify with. Perhaps these words embody what it is you’re striving for or maybe they just validate your existing beliefs or a personal experience you’ve had. Whatever the reason, it’s all positive, which I guess can only be a good thing.

Although the skeptic in me tends to acknowledge these, often ‘Gandalf-esque’ mumbo-jumbo, dictations with a pinch of salt. It’s not that I find them patronising or self-righteous, quite the opposite, it’s just… Are all these quickly forgotten written reminders, that saturate my Twitter feed and stare at me everyday on Instagram, really all that necessary? My thought being, 99% of the time people already know how they ‘should be living’, what’s ‘right from wrong’ or what it is they ‘should be doing’ to get them from A to B. However, even with all the wisdom, theory and know-how in the world –  when it comes down to it – surely it’s only the ‘doing’ that actually counts.

This… is the part people tend to struggle with. And I’m sorry but even Gandalf can’t help you help you here.

Ironically, my point is no better summarised than by one of my favourite quotes, from Carl Lewis:

“There are 3 keys to success:
First work out what you want to achieve.
Second work out the price associated with that achievement.
Third pay that price.
…Most people only do 2 out of 3.”

Recently I’ve being paying some of “that price”. A sudden respiratory infection, requiring a stay in A&E (Déjà vu I know), triggered by a flare-up of my asthma. An untimely consequence of hard training, working silly hours and not enough rest. Frustratingly this stopped me from competing in the British Championships which you may have seen last weekend on BBC2. Even more gutting, this means I won’t be participating in the ‘Anniversary Games’ at the Olympic Stadium this coming weekend; an event that had been a really big motivation during the toil of rehab… !$% ¥#¡… – please excuse my french.

So whilst feeling sorry for myself, stuck in bed during this heatwave and trying my best to control the dangerous urge for Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s, I randomly stumbled across a docu-film online. It’s called ‘The Price of Success’ and it breaks down the harsh reality of what some of the most successful athletes ever, have had to endure along their paths to glory. It really put into perspective what is to be expected along the way if do you really want to succeed, bearing in mind in sport and especially in a pure sport like athletics, success at the end of the grind is still far from guaranteed – as Susanna Kallur (World Record Holder 60m Hurdles), bluntly emphasises: “You sacrifice everything, for what you might achieve”.

This is a Mission Possible that I have chosen to accept. Despite this most recent setback there are still 6 weeks remaining of the 2013 season and I’m determined to make the most of the opportunity, no matter what it says on the tag.

It's true!@JulzAdeniran

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About JA

professional athlete
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