22 August 2008

I’d Be As Sick As A Parrot

So you’ve cut out all the great comfort foods like burgers and chips. You’ve almost completely eliminated alcohol and now drink water and energy drinks. Your body doesn’t have an once of fat on it but despite it looking sensational you’ve not had a serious relationship for years. You need to train up to 6 hours a day and sometimes your bones hurt so much you just want to cry. Your coach is now the most important person in your life and you don’t see your parents or your friends too often. You spend your life living in soulless hotel rooms travelling to places you never see. And you’ve been doing this for the last 4 years…..and all to win an Olympic medal.

Your day comes, the crowd are cheering, you are in great form. The bell goes, the gate falls and off you go……and then you crash ! 4 years of hard work down the swanee.

One can only sympathise with these athletes who go through so much for so long only to fall at the final hurdle. What must it be like ? What is our equivalent ?

I can relate this to business where I’ve worked on deals for maybe 2 years. The team have lived in those soulless hotels and have grabbed food when they could. We only saw our families at week-ends and even then we we’re usually working. We’ve ruined family holidays and we’ve been short tempered. We’ve taken those mind-numbingly boring conference calls at all times of the day or night and we’ve missed out on many corporate events …… and then the client decides to do something else. No sorry. No apology for time wasted. Just a brief letter which is like a dagger to the heart.

It must also be like those people who need to diet but do it on their own. They cut out all their favourite foods and walk to the post box at the end of the drive instead of taking the car. They cut down on their glasses of chardonnay and resist the urge to buy chocolate at the supermarket check-out. They stop tasting their kids’ food cause it tastes too good and refuse many invitations to parties and barbeques. The Friday lunch invitations are ignored and anything resembling food is removed from the fridge. And then….after 4 years you weigh yourself….and……..you’ve put weight on ! Aaaaagh !

For us mere mortals, we can usually start again. Join a slimming group or start work on another deal. We can change the way we do things and aim higher.

For many of these failed athletes this will be their last chance. London 2012 is too far away for some of them. Their bodies cannot stand another 4 years of gruelling exercise regimes. Mentally, they’ve exhausted themselves and during those next few years, new young stars will arrive to take their place.

So, as the Olympics draw to a close, an Olympics in which Team GB has done amazingly well, let’s think of those athletes who didn’t win a medal. Those athletes whose life’s work has just evaporated in Beijing and who may never have another chance to show how good they really were.

1 comment:

Harry McIntosh said...

Well hello Tommy ! - Found you !

Its Harry McIntosh - you cannot possibly not remember me.
If you get this, email me at harry.mci@btinternet.com

Big H