Choose to be a professional athlete

Almost exactly a year ago, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Justin Gatlin won medals in the Olympic 100m final in London. I watched the race, and saw the sheer glory these guys attracted. They were too cool for words in my eyes. I wanted the power, athleticism, and freedom that they had. So I decided to do it. I chose to become a professional athlete.

I was around 21 at the time, and only slightly above average in terms of fitness. But I didn’t let that stop me. As a young man, my body is in prime position to grow and adapt. I’d been a naturally fast sprinter in high school, repeatedly winning the school year’s silver medal in the 100m, without much training to speak of apart from a newspaper round on a bike.

This dream inside me, to become a professional sprinter, instantly clicked with my sense of self. I realised that it was what I wanted to do with my life. I was fascinated by all of the training knowledge out there, and I continue to ingest as much material as I can. But that hunger for training knowledge is not the most important thing. The most important thing was that I acted on my inspiration. I didn’t let anyone or any notion get in my way.

Is fitness everything you think about? Does a sport dominate your consciousness? Is it everything you want to do? Then train to become a professional at it. Train as hard as you possibly can, read about training theory as much as you can, and make a dedication to not leave the sport until you’ve achieved everything you want to within it.

In 2017, at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London, I’ll be in the starting blocks at the 100m final, five years to the month from when my journey started. Where will your inspiration take you?

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