Think like an athlete. Act like an athlete. Be an athlete.
Knowing I was walking 16 miles this morning, the quote above came to mind. It came to mind, when I remembered what it felt like to hear from my doctor, I’d be risking long-term damage, if one more knee injury was to occur. That was 17 year old me. Imagine how I felt. Imagine hearing you won’t compete again, despite it being your only goal in life.
I wanted to be an athlete. I was promising. Top 5 time in the UK for my age group (100m), and a scholarship on the cards in America. In a matter of seconds, it was taken away from me. The two weeks expected recovery time, lasted an entire year. Medical professionals got it wrong. They never truly knew what was wrong with my knee, and as time went by, I started to lose who I was.
I loved sport. I loved getting involved in PE at school and I loved getting involved in holiday camps every time it was on half term. Sport was my life. Sport was the one thing that kept me going, and then nothing. I had nothing left. I couldn’t compete, so I hid away. I stayed away from certain areas, just so I couldn’t see other children and young people play sports I couldn’t play.
This is why I’m determined to use it as motivation. During the 16 mile walk this morning, I was waiting for the moment I wanted to give up. I was waiting for the moment a muscle would play up, just so I can think like an athlete. Did I give up? No! Did I keep going? Yes, but slowly! I kept going, as I still have the hunger. I still have the hunger to be/act like an athlete. I still have the hunger to show what a human can do, and why they do it.
I tend to catch public transport to places I visit, so I’m used to walking. I’m used to walking short distances though, not 16 miles. 16 miles is 3 miles longer than any other distance I’ve done. I knew I was expected in around 5 hours, but 4 hours 44 was the finish time.
16 minutes ahead of MY expected time, and 42 minutes ahead of the map prediction. 42 MINUTES!!!
I still have it inside. I still have the passion to compete. I still have the passion to get up early in the morning to get what I need to get done. The competition is with me though. I’m not a competitive athlete anymore, but a self-competitor. I’m competing against myself on a daily basis, to not only get up at silly o’clock, but to go out there and perform.
I’m a fast walker, but 42 minutes ahead of time wasn’t ever considered. I’m in good shape; mentally and physically, and it’s paying off. It’s paying off as I’m gaining momentum to a tough year ahead.
The tough year will show who I am. It’ll show the athlete within. It’ll show John Sennett is able to deliver.
11 challenges…£100,000…I’M READY!!!