Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's there to choose?

“Finally!” I thought.

This morning, I heard on the radio that Usain Bolt has decided to run in both the 100m and 200m race in the coming Olympic.

I haven’t heard of this Usain Bolt guy until I read about him in the news when he broke the 100m world record. I’m not even sure how to pronounce his name. This is a guy who is expert in 200m, picked up the 100m event to better prepare for his favourite 200m event. And he casually went and broke the world record. Talk about hidden potential.

Of course, after that, he and his coach were facing a dilemma – should he now register in the 100m event as well? Would his chances of winning a gold in 200m be diminished by the additional effort in the 100m races? Does he have what it takes physically and, more importantly, mentally to race in two events? What if he went home empty handed because of an event which wasn’t in his plan when he started? Would he regret the decision? If he went home empty handed in this edition of Olympic, would he get another chance for the next edition? What if he is injured and has to sit at home to watch the Olympics on TV instead? Would he then be more regretful? How would he feel looking back at his decision 50 years from now? Would he be around 50 years later? What would he be doing after 50 years? Would he grow a beard? After so many questions, where the hell am I going with this???


In a sport where 0.0000001 seconds means the world between gold and silver, glory and disappointment, mental power will be the defining factor between sprint athletes. I’m not sure how Mr Bolt and his coach came to this decision. But I hope his mental preparation for these events would not be weakened by this lengthy weighing process.

And, in a world where living your life to its fullest is the aim; in a world where you’re not allowed to have “what if” questions hanging around your thoughts; in a world where regrets are the last thing you want to bring into your grave; and knowing that you have the potential to go for it, was there even a choice to be considered?

This reminds me of the movie “Tin Cup”, in which towards the end, at a major golf championship, at the final hole, standing some distances from the green, which was protected by a pond at the front, Kevin Costner’s character had a chance to play it safe and force a playoff for the championship. But he ignored advices from his friends and supporters and tried to do the heroics of reaching the far-away green in one shot. After countless times having his ball drop into a pond, to the moans and groans of the gallery, he eventually won the crowd over with his determination and guts, moans and groans turned into supporting cheers. Silence swept through the gallery with his last allowed shot. He landed his ball on the greens. Amidst the loud cheers from the gallery for achieving some sorts of a record, he realized the chance he let slip to force a play-off and go for the championship, and hung his head. Joy? Despair?

But then again, when my sport nowadays is clicking at the speed of a sprinting leopard trying to hop through 100+ blogs in less than one hour, and feeling the world spinning when I stand up at the end, I’m hardly in any position to judge.


The Fearless Blog said...

A wonderful analogy between "the runner" and "golfer" trying to accomplish (perhaps) more than he can or should and the EC "dropper." With humor and warmth you captivate your audience.

By the way, as a dedicated dropper myself, I am beginning to feel a little robotic at times too. But I must admit I have found some wonderful blogs and resources through EC, so I do not want to suggest it has all been of no value. I am also on summer vacation and so I was able to spend the extra time.

“Single-minded-ness” ahhh yes....
The never ending battle between quality and quantity in our lives....

Thanks for a great post.

clair said...

I think if we can distance ourselves from the singlemindedness of dropping EC cards, we'll discover that there are some great blogs out there :) I'm trying to stick around and read blogs instead of just dropping. Problem is the time crunch.

culturedecoded said...

I don't think that it will affect him unless both events are back to back, then he should just go with the 200m. He already holds the 100m world record, and that's something he can look back on in 50 years.


Johnny Ong said...

well, u dont try u'll never know

Buzzing J said...

the fearless blog and clair:
I had the same feeling regarding dropping EC. Can't seem to shake off the addiction to drop a fix number of cards and enjoy some wonderful blogs. Quantity vs quality. Time crunch. Apt reflection.

I think there will be some great races in the 100m and 200m. I'll be following that with much interest. Thanks for visiting.

johnny ong:
Agreed. No regrets. That's what we should live for.


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