I was watching Australian Story last night. It was on track- cyclist Anna Meares.
In January of 2008, she came off her bike and fractured her C2 vertebra (in English - very high up in the neck). Had that interrupted her spinal cord, she would have been rendered a ventilator-dependent quadruplegic. That is pretty dire.
She trained her guts out and qualified for the Beijing Olympics, held in August 2008, in which she won Silver, against world No1 Victoria Pendleton. She started training before her fracture healed, so another fall could have paralysed her.
In the 4 years after that, she trained and plotted. Victoria was the one to beat, and she made a game-plan to beat her. She became stronger but learned how to exploit some of Victoria's weaknesses.
And, in London, as you know, she lost to Victoria in the Kirin, but took gold in the sprint.
Victoria has retired, but Anna wants to go to Rio. Incidentally I want to go to the Rio Olympics too, just to watch.
Anna's story really resonated with me, and I had to think a bit to figure out why.
It was the concept of adversity that struck a chord.
You see, when things are crappy all the time, they grind you down, and can make you weak. Then you can hit rock bottom.
Or things can be going along well and the BAM something bad can happen. You survive but things have changed dramatically.
When you hit rock bottom, or the shit hits the fan in a spectacular fashion, something can happen.
That little downtrodden, brutalised nub of spirit inside of you can scream "NO. I WILL NOT LET THIS DEFINE ME".
When that happens, it is like an animal is unleashed. An animal that is prepared to fight.
To survive. To conquer. To excel and dominate.
And then you look for ways, any way at all, to do what you need to do. And you work towards it and let nothing stop you.
That's what has motivated me in my life. A few times.
Go the nub!