Friday, 22 January 2016

My Declaration to Patience

Four years ago today I posted one of my first ever blog entries (well second ever if we're going to be pedantic about it). I was initially asked to start the blog to document my build up to the 2012 Olympic Games. Without even reading that particular entry I remember it quite well. I remember being quite surprised that 2012 had already come around; 7 years since the announcement that London would host the greatest show on earth. Aptly I was with Team GB at the 2005 Youth Olympics when the announcement came. And like every other starry eyed kid on the team I thought to myself "I'll be there!" 

Some of those kids did make it too. They donned their Stellar McCartney, stepped out onto the various stages of London, and did the class of 2005 very proud. Most of us however, didn't quite fulfill the lofty ambitions of our 15 year old selves. I watched from the sidelines, full of enthusiasm and admiration for those who had managed it, but at the same time vowing that next time it would be me. 

And so we have arrived yet again. Another Olympic cycle in its final quarter. The finishing straight. 11 years on from 2005, but 18 years since I asked my mum if I'd "ever go to the Olympics?" And 'only' 4 sports later I've finally booked my ticket. This time I won't be standing on the sidelines either. I'll be toeing the start line. Childhood ambition fulfilled. 

But again I can't quite believe it's come around so quickly. 

Already I've been asked countless times; "are you excited about Rio?" 
I don't think the question even needs answering. 
Sun. Sea. Sugary cocktails. 
The Olympic Games.  
What's not to be excited about?! 

After all it's only taken 18 years of dreaming. And I only have to dream for another 7 months before it becomes a reality. 

But a lot can happen, and needs to happen, in those 7 months. Like all athletes, Olympic bound or not, they will be predominately filled with hard work. Countless bleary eyed, chlorine filled mornings. Although with less than 200 days to go I probably could count them up if I cared to. Endless hours chasing that golden "chamois time", and ample opportunity for repetitive strain injury from tying shoes laces. 

But for me, that's the easy part.

Seven months of being patient. Now that's difficult. 

Patience is probably my biggest nemesis. I find waiting 20 minutes for my dinner to cook agonising. What do you mean I have to wait 14 days for my Amazon delivery?! How much is next day?! 

But as an athlete I've learnt the hard way, on too many occasions, that patiences is a virtue. A virtue worth mastering. I definitely haven't got my 10,000 hours yet. But I am aware that patience is probably my biggest hurdle between now and August. My coaches routinely preach this sacred scripture to me. They know me too well. Far better than the devil on my shoulder would like. She's really pissed off right now after being told to be patient since starting back training in November. If she had her way I'd be ready to go already. Luckily my rational side is just about reigning supreme. Just. 

So I will use this blog as a declaration of my commitment to 'Patience'. I know this will come around to bite me in the backside in a few weeks when I'm arguing with said coaches;
"Just one more hour please?"
"What harm will that extra rep make?"
"Can I run those laps just a few seconds quicker?"
And they will smugly bring this blog up and declare they have it all in writing. But if that's what it takes to make an Olympic start line in better than 'one piece' then so be it. 

Patience I am your disciple. Yours sincerely, Non Stanford. 


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