False Starts

False starts. We see it happening on the tracks all the time. An athlete gets so wound up that they start a moment too early. This also happens in our lives all the time, too. When we really want something that bad that we start running before we are ready.

I have always wanted to travel. The first opportunity to do so was when I had just finished uni and had registered for a volunteer programme. However before the training processes could start, I was sucked in a lucrative job offer that would see me churning the wheels for the next 6 years. It was only last year in South America when I realized that I didn’t want to go back to churning life again as I had been. I was well and truly bitten by the travel bug and thus began a year of thinking, organizing, packing and taking the plunge to go back into the world for a longer period of time.

The second opportunity for my travel dreams was last year when I was offered a teaching position in Kazakhstan (no shit!) and this time I was going to grab that opportunity with both hands. I negotiated my package, signed the contract, bought my tickets and had generally said my goodbyes. Well privyet Cyclone Mick! A cyclone stuck my home town just days before I was due to leave for Kazakhstan. Luckily my family wasn’t affected as badly as some people and I could have possibly made it on my flight the day it was due. But as I lay in the dark silence of the aftermath of Mick, I questioned myself could I really leave my family at this point in time and pursue my dreams? And at that moment my second opportunity to travel slipped away. The school retracted their offer as they couldn’t afford the delay in my arrival dates and that was that.

And it is at this point after a false start, that an athlete must pull himself and focus on his goals for should he allow himself to be affected by it all, he stands the chance of loosing everything. I firmly believe false starts in life are a good thing. It gives you another moment to ask yourself, how much you really want something. Is this really something you want? Are you sure this wasn’t a passing fantasy? Because if it was, its fine you don’t really have to continue on. You are being given this opportunity to walk away…In life its okay to stumble and make a few false starts. It tests your belief in yourself. It measures the faith you have in you to carry yourself through your goals. It checks your strength that you will not break when it will on some days, get tough.

So either in sports or in life, should you stumble, you must not let your goals fall from the palm of your hands. You must recompose yourself and take that run.

“…And precisely at the moment when everything seems to be going well and your dream is almost within your grasp, that is when you must be more alert than ever. Because when your dream is almost within your grasp, you will be assailed by terrible guilt. You will see that you are about to arrive at a place where very few have ever set foot and you will think that you don’t deserve what life is giving you. You will forget all the obstacles you overcame, all that you suffered and sacrificed. And because of that feeling of guilt, you could unconsciously destroy everything that took you so long to build….But if a man understands that he is worthy of what he has struggled so long for, he will realise that he did not get there alone and must respect the Hand that led him.” – Paulo Coelho

So as I sit here, 2 days before flying off to life’s third offer to live my dream, I must thank the Universe for all my false starts. This 3 month delay has not only given me the time to re-think what I’m about to do but its reaffirmed that this is exactly what I want to do. And this time round, I well on my way to win this race.

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