When I was preparing for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, I was approached by a fan on social media, asking me for tips for training as an athlete.
The young lad wanted to become a sprinter and wanted to know how I’ve managed to tackle burnouts, stress, health problems, and fatigue throughout my career as an athlete.
I understand that to the world outside, athletes look perfect. They look like they have unlimited strength and energy. But the bitter truth is that’s not the case.
When you venture into the world of professional sports, you need to push past your limits to achieve the unachievable.
There are so many valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout my journey, and whether you’re planning to become a sprinter, swimmer, or skeleton racer, you’ll learn the same valuable lessons along the way.
Failure is Inevitable
No matter how hard you train, you need to learn to accept that some people are naturally talented.
That doesn’t mean you’re not capable. It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough.
You are good enough.
But sometimes, the other team will win. And that’s okay because we’re not supposed to be good at everything all the time. We’re supposed to win some battles and lose others.
Failure is inevitable.
But so many aspiring athletes blame themselves for failing to bring home a medal or trophy. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that failure isn’t bad. It’s actually good.
It teaches you sportsmanship, patience, and the importance of sticking to your goals.
Respect Other Athletes
Being an athlete isn’t a walk in the park. There’s no sport in the world that’s easy. Whether it’s figure skating, sprinting, ice hockey, or bobsledding, every sport has its own requirements.
While methods may differ, every athlete has to go through rigorous training. That’s why I have the utmost respect for my fellow Olympians.
It’s not easy making it to the podium. You have to train for years before you can achieve your goals.
It’s Okay If You Don’t Win a Medal
So many aspiring athletes are obsessed with bringing home a gold medal. But is bringing home one what’s most important? Does it define you as an athlete?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that yes, medals are important, but in the long run, they will never give you the satisfaction you’re looking for.
They can never replace the feelings of satisfaction and victory when you participate in your first race. They can never replace the feelings of joy and happiness when you see your name on the list of “Athletes Who Have Made It.”
Personally, for me, it’s all about whether or not I can achieve my goals. To me, it’s all about being able to inspire others and do what I do best.
There Aren’t Any Shortcuts
In the world of sports, you can’t take the easy way out. In fact, there isn’t an easy way out. Everything depends on hard work and dedication.
All the years of training eventually pay off. But all of this depends on the path you choose and the decisions you make.
You Have to Starve Your Distractions
How many times have you told yourself you’ll start training tomorrow? I know I have.
But here’s what I’ve learned: there is no tomorrow. You either start today or you make excuses. You need to starve your distractions. You need to focus on what’s really important.
You’ll have time to do all the things you love later. Opportunity only knocks once and if you grab it by the horns, you won’t have any regrets later on.
These are the valuable lessons I’ve learned as an athlete. I plan to participate in the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
To learn more about me and my journey to the Olympics, feel free to visit my website.