NN running team, photo by NN running team
In this piece, Justin Lagat gives us a piece on the optimism that he has about the athletic heroes who could appear in 2021…
Coming from a year that has had very few opportunities to compete and tough economic times, most athletes are expecting the best but preparing for the worst in 2021.
Here are a few of the sports slogans that I recently came across that should encourage athletes to keep on training despite the uncertainties ahead: Champions train, losers complain. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Never give up.
Acrobatic entertainers on streets often start their acts with simple performances, before slowly increasing the level of difficulties in whatever they are doing. They may start by simply walking on a tight rope; they then add the difficulty by balancing another acrobat on top of their heads as they walk on the tight rope, or by even getting blind-folded.
Athletes are heading into 2021 like blind-folded acrobats with weights to balance on their heads. It gets more difficult to prepare and focus when they have no idea if the races they are preparing to run will happen or not, or whether they’ll meet the travel requirements to go to their goal races.
What is inevitable is that we shall have athletes winning some major competitions this year, but perhaps what will be different is that the level of difficulty to achieve victories may be higher. A number of races still remain canceled while others like the Olympic Games still face some scrutiny on them going on despite the uncertainties being brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic. Although the beginning of vaccinations across some countries is providing some hope for a better year than 2020.
On the good side, excellence in sports is supposed to bring out the best lessons on perseverance, adaptability, persistence, hard work, focus, and determination; among other traits. The athletes who will shine this year will definitely be the ones with a combination of almost all these relevant traits.
Real heroes are often seen in adversities, and so are the expected champions this year.
My advice to athletes as they begin the year is that there is always no perfect time, other than now, to begin doing their best in whatever they do.
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