It's been another gruelling week of training, but one where I feel like I've turned a bit of a corner. I cut out drinking almost entirely 2 weeks ago now, and I'm already feeling the positive benefit on my fitness. On Tuesday night, we did 7x200m sprints, which to date had been a recurring session of exquisite agony. This week, however, felt much easier, and I was able to push myself harder and faster than previous sessions. Thursday saw us focus on our starts again, and the acceleration phase of the race, with us doing 3x30m, 3x40m, 3x50m and 2x60m sprints. While this is still the weakest part of my race, it's an area I'm seeing rapid improvement in, most probably due to the distinct lack of quality I was demonstrating 9 weeks ago. Yesterday's session was meant to be 'light', which was a little misleading. We did circuit training, including press ups, sit ups, squats, single leg squats, and hyper extensions. We did 20 reps of each exercise with a 30 second rest, before repeating. This was then repeated in its entirety, before we did 8x80m sprints. Safe to say I was absolutely shattered by the end.
Over the past week or two, I've started to do a lot of reading around motivation and sports psychology in an attempt to learn what separates the very best from the also-rans. There are some really fascinating examples of people overcoming adversity or people having no faith in their ability, and them going on to achieve great things.
I think I'm both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. I think the majority of my motivation comes from my belief that I can do it. But, there are also two things people have said to me in the past which are always in the back of my mind. One is a family friend saying to me, as a 16 year old "you'll never be the athlete your Dad was"; the other, was when I was 20, and when I said I wanted to play professional football, replied "you'll never make it, no chance". While the second person was proved to be right, it was the instant dismissal that I recall so vividly, and that definitely focuses my mind when I'm feeling tired or lethargic at training.
I read a quote from Michael Jordan this week, which was "I can deal with failure, everyone fails; it's not trying hard enough that I couldn't live with". And that's where I find myself: working hard, and determined to find out what I'm truly capable of.