Persistence is the key to success in any Olympic sport. But none more so than Track and Field, where competition is rife.
Usain Bolt was built for the 100m. It’s hard to imagine him ever struggling to break into the Jamaican track and field team.
But that was the case in the early days of his career. He had a slightly different route to success than you might think.
At the beginning of his career, he faced incredible challenges and setbacks. And to top this off, his discipline and work ethic were called into question by the media.
Despite all the adversity, his ‘never say die attitude’ and desire for success are unquestionable. You can also be inspired by his persistence to achieve goals and dreams despite obstacles.
You might even want to check out Usain Bolt’s autobiography yourself: “Faster than Lightning – My story”. It’s worth a read if you like inspirational autobiographies.
Persistence vs persevering
His early career was blighted by a rare spinal condition. Despite being unaware of this medical problem, the condition became worse due to the wrong exercises and training methods.
Usain struggled to keep up to speed with his teammates during workouts.
Furthermore, he was originally described in the newspapers as a talented young athlete, who was sadly not dedicated enough to reach the top. He took this personally because it wasn’t true!
Bolt’s coaching team thought his inability to achieve impressive results was down to his lack of commitment and of course that party lifestyle!
He enjoyed the Jamaican nightlife as an Olympic athlete. He didn’t have to queue up to get into night clubs and loved junk food! Well, nobody is perfect!!
I think this is why he is so popular. Most people can relate to Usain Bolt in some kind of way. But, I think you can also learn from his dynamic energy, desire and enthusiasm for what he does best.
Despite all the challenges, he persevered with his coach’s training sessions and agonising workouts. He knew there had to be something wrong. The crippling spinal pain was too much to bear.
Usain’s coaching team argued that the training was supposed to be difficult. It was the same training methods that had improved other world class Jamaican athletes.
Usain was always complaining about the intensive training. He felt that persevering through the pain barrier was making the problem worse.
A change in direction
He made the decision to change his coach and was later assessed by a Medical Consultant who diagnosed him with Scoliosis – A rare medical condition due to the shape of his spine. The training regime had been making the pain worse.
Persist like a pro
Usain’s new coach designed training plans and methods to strengthen his spine and protect him from future injuries. This helped enormously!
And because training at that level needs to be customised to the individual, medical professionals have to assess complex diagnoses. Luckily it was spotted!
It’s worth mentioning that Usain Bolt’s training regime would have been incredibly challenging. Pushing himself to the limit would have helped him to grow stronger, faster, and fitter! No pain, no gain, or so they say.
That’s why the agonising spinal pain was originally dismissed as normal for the level of intense workouts. I know goals are meant to stretch you, but you shouldn’t try anything that causes you to feel serious pain.
Refuse to give up
Luckily for Usain Bolt, his fantastic attitude and resilience paid off. You can learn from his approach to overcoming adversity, challenges, and setbacks. His achievements in track and field are nothing short of phenomenal!
Secondly, persistence is the key to success in achieving your goal. Obstacles will always get in the way. But, that’s why your goals are worth achieving and so important. Never give up on the dream!