Amateur Olympia UK 2018
“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless”
Hello Everyone. I wanted to use today’s post to touch on the subject of “Victory and Failure” and how we must recast the word failure to mean “Feedback”.
I recently had the good fortune of competing at the Amateur Olympia UK held on the 6th and 7th of October 2018 in Coventry, UK. The first thing to note is that my participation in this top-tier premier physique event (now the largest in UK) is, in and of itself, a most unlikely occurrence. You see nothing in my upbringing, family/social environment or indeed my business ecosystem would have positively condoned the possibility of me being a competitive physique athlete. Quite the opposite in fact. From as far back as I can remember, I was actively discouraged, dissuaded and rebuked from pursuing what was seen as an unorthodox niche pursuit – football, tennis and golf were deemed more acceptable. Resistance notwithstanding, from a young age, I would (on a daily basis) formulate an excuse to leave home and spend countless hours in the gym honing and revelling in the solitary joy of fashioning my body and soul by the hand of cold steel. These practises persisted through my university days and continue now in my business career despite all of life’s usual cast of challenges and setbacks– family, career, social/financial pressures, failure, rejection and pain.
So, you see, my standing on that stage is, firstly, a victory for fortitude and a celebration of the joys possible when one dares to be themselves and walk their own path regardless of both the dissenting voices around them and the volatile configuration of circumstance that regularly besets them.
This is a joy I want all of you to experience by resolutely cultivating those lines of interest which ignite you with passion. Hold on to your dreams. Pursue them mercilessly and ceaselessly, for it is your persistence that shall seem them born.
Now, back to the recent event – did I win? No. Did it go the way I wanted? No. Was I heart broken and dejected due to the 12 months of training, dieting and countless sacrifices that had been poured into this one event? Yes. Did I question my motives? Yes. Did I want to give it all up? Yes.
Many of you have felt these emotions – none of us are immune to them. But, the ones who persevere are those who can rightly see failure for what it is – simply feedback. For there is no such thing as failure…there is only feedback; only results. Failure teaches you what doesn’t work as much as what does, thus allowing you to become more highly (and accurately) informed. You now know that you must adjust your actions so as to produce a different set of results. And if you fail next time…. well, you simply take the feedback, regroup, re-strategise and try again.
One who does not try does not fail. It is only the one who dares to try that fails there way to eventual victory. So, my friends, I encourage you to be that daring, courageous failure – as I (having dusted myself down and regrouped) fully intend to be.
I’ll be back…. bigger, better, wiser and stronger. So should you.