Olympian Footsteps

Last modified: November 20th, 2020

Having achieved massive success at the recent RIO Olympic Games with our Team GB far exceeding expectations, it was the turn of our Paralympic team to follow suit. So far, we have not been disappointed; indeed we are already in the grip of the action as more medals are being won.

I am reminded of what the American gymnast Gabby Douglas said after her success of winning two Gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games, “God will never fail you. He is always on your side”

Sometimes this kind of statement by an athlete can be misunderstood and her statement can be taken to mean, “If I’m competing against you in a sports context and I have God’s help, there is no way I can lose”. The fact is, believing this statement is true and Gabby choosing to “act as if” she is a winner (and we already know from my previous blogs that acting as if means it can become your reality) means it can be her reality. This winning belief system can also be translated into your relationships, your finances, your work in fact your life.

As a point of clarity, Gabby choosing to believe in God is neither here nor there for me. Most people have a belief system, a belief in some higher power or consciousness. While some people may worship their God as an outside influence – across all faiths and beliefs there are many versions of ‘God’. For me personally, I think God – or whatever name we may choose – resides in us all. The God that some refer to in a religious context, I personally think is a metaphor for the higher power and potential that is inherent in us all.

So as you read on, think not of this as a religious post – but more a nod to the power within in us all.

If you had been with me on 23 March 1981 you would have seen me, a young looking 18 year old man sitting alone in an army barrack room with clothes and military equipment scattered all around me. You see I had just experienced the wrath of my Army Recruit Instructors during a locker inspection. They had decided the layout of my worldly possessions in my locker was slightly out of line so decided to exact their disapproval and eject my locker content around the room so I could set it out again in a smart, uniform and soldier like manner.

Whilst staring at my life strewn on the floor I noticed a card my mother had sent me a few days earlier. It was named, “Footsteps”. I remember picking it up and reading it, hoping it would provide me with the inner strength and inspiration I needed. And as I read it a tear came to my eye. The words still resonate with me to this day:

“One night I dreamed a dream.

As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

Knowing what I know now, I know those Army Instructors didn’t have anything against me personally. They just wanted to test my mettle and see if they could break me.

Cruel, you may think?

It very much depends on the context you are using to guide your thought process. Remember, I was being trained to serve with Britain’s Elite Force so it was important I be tested to breaking point so that in a real life pressure situation, I could be depended on to do the right thing. Those life lessons are still with me today and I appreciate and understand the meaning behind phrases like, “You’ve got to be cruel to be kind.”

So whenever you are facing challenges and feel as though your whole life is metaphorically strewn on the floor all around you. Remember my story of “Footsteps” and how it helped me rise above it because someone is always with you. If not in body, certainly in mind.

As I alluded to earlier,  I’m not saying you should believe in a God, at least not in the Christian sense, because I appreciate we are all different. What I am saying is to believe that power in yourself and know that support can always be there for you when you need it most. This belief will get you through even the toughest of your challenges and ensure your success. If you have any doubt of this, you only need listen to some of the awe inspiring stories of our Paralympians.

I know our Paralympians have faced some real tough challenges in their lives and to conquer these they go through a belief matrix regularly. This is so that they can keep performing like the champions they really are.

You can also adopt a process to help you achieve the success you deserve. If you’re not quite sure how to achieve your success yet, then feel free to contact me so we can determine together the best way for you to move forward and achieve your goals.