As my Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of physie stories unfolding in real time, I can’t help but wonder what it has taken for each of these girls or ladies to get there. What makes a champion a champion? What makes us want to celebrate with some so eagerly? What makes some win’s so sweet? What causes a whole club to raise the roof in celebration for their team mates?
It’s that time of the year where many of us are deciding our plans for the year ahead. Perhaps you are questioning if you want to put yourself out there again if it will only result in disappointment? Do you invest so much of yourself again? Do you try something new when you know you are inexperienced and cannot compete with those who have been working for years towards the same goal?
Today I was congratulating a young lady who walked away from a national competition with a silver cup…again. That’s right, it was not her first win but it was her first win as a True Champion. You see, since her first win this competitor has had to overcome quite serious injuries. She has experienced the disappointment of working harder than she has ever worked before to walk away without a win. There have been tears, moments of doubt, hurt from those who have felt it was their place to humble her by taking to social media with unkind words and challenges in her school life to overcome.
You can imagine how sweet this win would have been! A totally different experience than her first win.
The heart of a True Champion takes time. It takes hardship. It takes challenges that seem too big to overcome! Otherwise it is just a win. I have watched competitor after competitor who inspire and would have been my “number one” but were not awarded first place on the day. I am sure I am not alone in this experience.
This True Champion knows what it took. She knows the work she has put in. Few know the challenges she has overcome. It’s what she accomplished in secret that inspires me. There was no guarantee of a win. There is no guarantee of a win in the future but one thing is for sure, this champion walks away with the goods. She walks away with the life lessons that are shaping her to be an incredible teacher and role model. What could have torn her down has made her stronger. But there was a choice she had to make. What if the result wasn’t in her favour? This is where we separate the winner’s from the true champions. A true champion thinks differently. Very differently, it seems.
A True Champion…
She isn’t interested in small goals with small effort but goals that are crazy big! They will take much to accomplish. She recognises that she doesn’t know what she is capable unless she tries. And she is willing to try.
Runs Her Own Race
Others may inspire or make her want to work harder but ultimately, a True Champion is interested in competing against herself and seeing what she can accomplish without comparing herself to others.
A True Champion doesn’t need to blow her own trumpet. Her reputation is built over time as her actions speak louder than words (or social media posts.)
Raises The Bar
She challenges herself to raise the bar for herself which often raises the bar for all involved. She chases excellence and is satisfied with her best efforts.
Considers Who Is Watching
A True Champion is keenly aware of those who look up to her. It may be in her club, her zone or nationwide. No matter who is watching, she takes that responsibility on board and leads by example.
Rises Above Nonsense
She hasn’t time for negativity from others and doesn’t engage in gossip. While some may try to tear her down or belittle her efforts a True Champion allows that which is out of her control to grow her. It doesn’t defeat her.
Doesn’t Make Excuses
A True Champion can assess her performance honestly. She can call herself out when she didn’t bring her A game. She can reflect on her strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t need to announce her struggles. She quietly carries on without using anything as an excuse to bring the best she can at any given time.
She appreciates encouragement but is not reliant only when others believe in her. She can self coach during times when others may be unavailable or unable to see her potential.
Loves Strong Competition
A True Champion loves strong competition. She is not interested in the award. She is interested in pushing her abilities and being her best self. If that results in a first place, a 5th place or becoming a Grand Finalist she is pleased when she knows she has truly achieved.
Focus, determination and persistence are necessary to be a True Champion. It is in the process that a competitor becomes a True Champion not when the cup is placed in her hand.
Celebrates With Others
While A True Champion celebrates fiercely when she wins! She also appreciates the meaning a win has for others and she celebrates wholeheartedly even if her emotions of disappointment are present.
If you have had a loss, a disappointment, a failure, then don’t give up. It’s time to step it up and allow the challenge to benefit you. I would like to suggest that next year is your year to be fearless; to become a True Champion. Are you willing to step out and risk it all to change? To be challenged and grow through the highs and the lows that come? To push yourself in ways you have not done so before and to be OK with letting go of that which is out of your control? It is time for action.
In my next post, I have something to put to you…stay tuned!