It was like I was stationary but the surrounding world remained in full range of motion beside me, except at a 10x faster speed. The crowd was nothing but a muffled noise ringing in my eardrum and as much as I was trying to block it out, its presence was exceedingly pronounced. Obtrusive almost, but distant. I felt secluded, in my own world, a land which was very different to my current peripheral vision. My recollection of order and procession for the latter two minutes is non-existent. Before I knew it my name was announced and my feet were pacing themselves diagonally across the floor of the arena. It was second nature, requiring no thought process. I knew I was in full control yet my actions felt automated. Over-learnt and grooved through hours in the training gym. Practice makes for powerful performance, credited with little to none conscious thought. It is the hard work that acclaims triumph and victory.
You may be questioning what your eyes have just read. A brief breviloquent snapshot of how I spent the previous twenty-four hours of my life. “Sweaty palms. Dry mouth. Racing heartbeat” sums it up pretty accurately.
Yesterday I competed in a major gymnastic competition, an important event with the result determining the termination of my gymnastic career. Having fifteen years of experience in the world of this sport and many titles of success this was by far the toughest and most influential competition of my sporting career. Not only did it hold the potential to grant my dream of qualifying for the British National Championships but it also meant competing against my six closest friends. In opposition. All fighting for the same result, all wanting the same outcome. Gold.
We competed, performed one of the best routines we ever had. We were happy, but we all tried to disguise our desire for Gold. In all honesty, I could not have been any less overwhelmed despite the overall score. Having the opportunity to compete with some of the most important people in my life far outweighed the greatness of winning the Gold medal. And even though the outcome was what I had yearned so deeply for, my feelings of joy and happiness that I was given the opportunity to experience this competition surrounded by my closest friends was what made my day complete. However I am overly grateful to have finished with a Gold medal hanging from my neck and the qualification to compete at the National Championships. I would like to say a massive thank-you to my family, friends and coaches for allowing this extraordinary achievement to happen.
On a less personal note, this competition reinforced many life lessons to me. Things which have been perpetually present in my mind recently, unintentionally boring a hole deep into the core of my brain. I am aware however I have not given these thoughts much attention. The much needed attention and recognition they deserve. Instead I’ve shown nothing but mere repudiation and dismissal to these pertinent interfering cognition’s. So I thought it was about time to refocus my attention to what is important and what is not. My brain needs a complete re-furb.
There are so many pending questions we could ask given any opportunity. Some hold more importance than others, whilst some do not require a second thought. It is the ones which can determine our train of thought which need meticulously cogitating. One day life will flash before our eyes. We need to make sure it’s worth watching. In our last breaths we will all wonder; Did my life mean anything? Did my life mean anything to this World? Was I loved? Did I have an impact on anyone else’s life? Did I matter?
These are questions worth pondering about. However too much thought and little action and it will be too late. It will be too late to change the answer for the vindication of fortune will be set in stone. Permanent.Imperishable. Steadfast.
Before you reach that last breath, today might be that day to make a change. You may still be in luck. The opportunity to change the answer to these thunderous questions is still lingering. Debating its depart like a storm cloud pettifogging with air currents interrogating its coterminous destination. One day it will be over.Your life will be terminated. There will be two dates either side of that dash. It is down to you to make sure that dash is not empty. Make sure it is full of life, full of living.”To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people just exist that is all”. Don’t live like everyone else, existing. Be extraordinary, live every moment with passion and wonder. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted. What is important to you? What dreams do you have? Go get them. What are you waiting for? You only have one shot. If you miss the target then that’s OK, at least you will live with pride knowing you have no regrets. Who do you love? Who has loved you? Tell them. Tell them NOW. You never know when it will be your last chance. Don’t take this magical thing called Life for granted. Keep your head up when everyone else is losing theirs. Trust yourself when everyone else doubts you. Master your dreams when all others give up on theirs. Be the captain when everyone else is content. Be in the crew. Be the lion when all others are playing sheep. Be the leader when all others are following. Live each day as if it may be your last on Earth. It may be. Leave your legacy. Every morning when your feet hit the floor tell yourself today could be the day. The day everything in your life changes. Today IS the day I take everything in my life to a whole new level. It only takes one moment, one decision, one action and your whole entire life could change forever. Decide today that you are no longer settled for average. Do you think you could become the greatest version of yourself? The truth is, it only takes a moment to make that decision. The truth is if you are committed and consistent day in and day out you can achieve whatever the hell you want. Life will get in the way. That’s inevitable.”Its too hard right now, I’ll do it later”.That word later almost always becomes another word,”never.”There is no greater obstacle in your way other than yourself, YOU are the only thing keeping you from your dreams, nothing else. It only takes one moment to make a decision. To separate yourself from the rest. So what the hell are you waiting for. For pity sake just make the damn decision and NEVER go back on it.
But then there is that “What If’s?”. Yes, You’re right. OK. There will always be the chance things don’t work out. You
could (but won’t) fail. You could fall. You could get lost along the way. What if this happens? SO WHAT! So what you fail. You TRIED! At least you got your answer to your previous recurring questions. Isn’t that better than the remorseful guilt and regret you would feel on your second to last breath asking yourself if you lived? The knowledge that you PURSUED your thoughts will over-rule the anguish when your life flashes before your eyes.
What if hypothetically every decision you made today was deliberate. What if every decision you made from this moment forwards took you in the direction of your dreams. Not side wards, not backwards but forwards. If every action you took was powerful. Think about how many unconscious decisions you make every single day. Our daily lives are exploding with subconscious decisions; Deciding to sleep in that extra thirty minutes because it’s raining. Skipping the gym because you have too much work to do. Picking up your phone instead of socially interacting with the person next to you. Not holding the door for the person behind you simply because “You are having a bad day”. Not smiling at a stranger because you fell out with your friend. Well have you ever considered that these decisions could potentially make somebody else’s day a whole lot brighter? Take it from me, it does and it will. And trust me, you will feel a hell of a lot better after doing so.
“I wish I didn’t take life so seriously. I wish I lived more. I wish I gave more happiness to my family. I wish I knew how precious life was. How fleeting. How special and at the same time fragile and insignificant. I wish I didn’t give up on my dreams so easily.” Don’t let this be you. Don’t give these thoughts the opportunity to be present when it is you in this situation. Act now and begin to subconsciously consider whether each decision you make is taking you one step closer to your goals.
By all means just be true to yourself and if you are not happy where you are, don’t FOR WHATEVER REASON STICK IT OUT.
Much love now and always,