Hi Blog Followers and welcome to another blog, this one however is a blog with a difference, where UltraHumps was on the eve of walking away from it all. An injury not coming right, motivation questioning my desire, feeling lazy or just fed-up. Reality was, none of the above, just felling the blues or hitting the doldrums. Read more to see how Coach Ray pulled me out of it…
I guess every athlete, pro or weekend warrior, hits the brick wall. I am certainly no pro athlete, and I certainly have hit the brick wall during events. None more so than on both Ultraman Australia events of 2016 and 2017, about the same spot on the cycle on day two after about 100 Km’s, knowing I had another 180 Km’s to go, after I had swam 10 Km’s and cycled 140 Km’s the day before, and had a Double Marathon to go the next day, where I also hit the brick wall again, generally in the last Half Marathon, having already knocked out a Marathon and a Half of running. It is your Support Crews that always get you to the finish line though.
This time was different, I wasn’t even doing an event, I was training, but didn’t know what I was training for. I sent Coach Ray an email thinking it was time I wandered off, left Qwik Kiwi because with my injury I felt I was in the way of Qwik Kiwi and what Qwik Kiwi stood for. I don’t know whether Coach Ray has seen this before in his clients, or aware that athletes regardless of there status go through this. Due to the different time zones with being overseas for a number of months, I pushed send on the email and thought ‘oh well I’ll see what Coach Ray says’. I don’t know what his immediate reaction was, but knowing him he would of read the email, had a cup of coffee, then came back and tapped a response on the key board. He didn’t have to tell me what I had accomplished, he simply gave me options and suggested I take my time and look at events. In Coach Ray’s subtle way, he had discreetly returned the urge or spark to me. I know I can get through an Ironman, but I also know that when not his client Coach Ray stayed with me on the course to get me to the finish line at an Ironman event I was really struggling on, something he didn’t have to do, as he was on the course supporting his athletes. He didn’t remind me of this (such is the measure of the man), he encouraged me to take my time with my thoughts, do my own research of events, and to focus on getting through the injury.
Within a day I had found events and was juggling between three which I will disclose in a different blog. The best thing was though, Coach Ray didn’t steer me to one event or the other, he dabbled with ideas and left me to it. I took a day or two to think about it, but in reality I knew what I wanted in an hour or two. Once events were sorted, I asked Coach Ray my standard question I always ask “If you don’t think I can do this, I won’t be offended if you say so”. That’s what a Coach is for after all.
Ray could of simply said, “yep no worries, all the best for the future”, but he knows his athletes and picked up I wasn’t ready to hang up my bike helmet, goggles and runners. Through words of encouragement the passion or the spark has returned. I am now focused on events for the next two years that will be extremely demanding and have thoughts for beyond that. Coach Ray has dragged me out of the blues or doldrums and returned the passion for what I want to do and accomplish. I also looked at a photo of me before I got into this, 90 Kg (way too heavy for a shorty like me), high blood pressure, and heading down a path I didn’t want to be on.
Game on team, stay tuned for future blogs where I follow a dream, follow a journey, a dream and journey I know I can’t do without the support of my Family, Qwik Kiwi’s Coach Ray, Qwik Kiwi Athletes, and the wider Qwik Kiwi Community. Regards John Humphries (aka UltraHumps).
All his previous articles are stored here: