Effort, sweat and joy
Every verb has its conjugations. But for one verb, every tense brings its own “emotions”.
I’m talking about to sweat. In the present, when used to describe what we’re doing, it is a synonym for suffering. Looking forward, thinking about what we have to do, the verb adds a sense of worry or preoccupation. But in the past, when the sweating is over…well, it usually evokes a sense of satisfaction. In our memories and stories, it suggests something we did had an element – big or small – of achievement, regardless of whether it was worth it or not.
Being able to say, or even simply think, that we toughed it out while suffering increases our sense of self and makes us feel good. Many people stop here. Not because of some fault, but because life is about opportunities. Sometimes they find us, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes we recognise them, while other times, they just slip by. People go through life firmly believing that being able to do things brings happiness, that achieving significant results is all that counts. I’m afraid not.
A perfect life? Full of real attemo
But it’s actually a blessing to know there’s more. Yes, it’s a blessing to know that you can influence this process so the end of one challenge, becomes the imaginary fuel to begin the next – it is almost a need, a new horizon, you start chasing straight away, start sweating for again. Yes, it’s a blessing to know this changes everything, to know that the melancholy that comes with completing a stage in one’s life can block out the joy of achievement.
True champions, those right at the top, are few and far between. But each of us can choose our path in life, follow it and discover the journey is where joy really lies. So, we have what makes us happy at our fingertips.
The fun is in trying…
I didn’t always see things like this. If I’d realised this in my mid-twenties, when I was stronger and more physically resistant, I might have been exceptional. Still, I got there in the end and this is now my strength. In 2012, at Brands Hatch, when I claimed my second gold in two races, achieving the final goal for “my” paralympics in London, my only thought was how much I’d enjoyed trying. Those were unique memories, tied to the daily grind, to many moments that dotted a path that had taken me three years – a path I was already missing. I had won, but it also ended a chapter in my life. But, there was the sweetness of knowing the very next day I would find a new excuse to start “sweating”.
… and in continuing to sweat
This is how we get the best out of ourselves, and it can be just great at times. It clearly happens in sport, where being exceptional is often the only way to get ahead. But this immensely powerful driving force can push us forward in a thousand different spheres – work, study, everyday life, personal relations and more. It even applies to the setbacks we face, those moments that help us truly understand who we are.
Victory in my paralympics began in Berlin, back in 2001. Following that horrendous accident in which I nearly lost my life, I was lying in a hospital bed, just feeling a sense of enormous gratitude to the physicians who’d saved my life, given it worth I’d never previously considered. I realised who I was and I was curious about what I could do with what I had left. Having learnt to sweat through sport, I knew it would be great to sweat to get everything sorted out.
A trilling project
In this section, I’ll be talking about issues linked to Enervit and what the Enervit Equipe does. I don’t feel I have any specific obligation to the company because I’m wearing its colours. We’re simply working on a project we’re passionate about, but see from different points of view. This is why our actions are complementary. Some people are born with more talent, others with less – but we can all improve.
Clearly, experimentation is needed and mistakes have to be corrected as part of determining what details we need to focus on in every sphere. It’s impossible to do everything and so it’s worth seeking advice from people with experience. And then we need to bring everything together, weaving in our reasoning. There is no pretence of bringing innovation to every aspect, but there is the belief that, once in a while, it might happen…. because sometimes people believe that certain goals are beyond a disabled person. They believe the Ironman is practically impossible for someone without legs. And if you truly believe and say the whole race might be done in less than ten hours, people look at you with wide eyes. I’m down to 8:26:06. But since I’m still on the road, sweating, I’m excited to see what my journey still has in store for me.