Out for dinner with a good friend last week, we got talking about her friend Judy Murray and what she was really like as a person. I admitted that the only time I met her was at the Scottish Business Awards back in 2015, when the two of us queued like giddy teenagers waiting to meet George Clooney, breathe the same air as him and get a selfie with the heart throb. Judy was engaging, down to earth and funny.
I explained to her that I was there as a finalist for Scottish Female Entrepreneur of the Year and that when submitting my entry to the panel had to write about someone who inspired me. I told her that I had referred to her son, Andy Murray and all he had achieved, the battles he had faced and how every time he fell, he got straight back up.
Andy Murray is the epitome of persistence and tenacity. After being ridiculed by the press as he kept failing to get to the final, his lack of charisma and engagement (all totally nonsense in my opinion!) in 2013 Britain’s 77 year wait for a win at Wimbledon was finally over.
Physical strength is a given for our sportsmen and women. Mental strength is something else and something I have always admired and strived for. In 2014, in a moment of madness, I decided to train and take part in #ToughMudder. In 2005 I decided to run the London Marathon, having never run a race in my life. For both events the training and mental preparation needed was immense. Anyone who has trained for an event like this will agree with me that it is all consuming and relentless.
Training in January in Elgin when it was minus 4 and there was snow on the ground was nothing but horrific. Multiply this by 100 and you appreciate how mentally prepared our sporting heroes are.
As I write, the 6 nations “Super Saturday” is on. Scotland were finally on form after winning the Calcutta Cup three weeks ago and managed to (just) beat Italy today. Our best year at the Six Nations for a very long time. And depending on the result at Twickenham, shock horror that we could overall come second.
Another example of hard work, persistence and keeping on at it to achieve greatness.
We could all learn a lot from athletes and how they train and keep focused on the end goal. All too often it gets “too difficult”, “I can’t” instead of “I can”, excuse after excuse as to why you cant achieve greatness and success in all that you do. When many see hurdles or walls, others see opportunities and challenges to overcome.
It should also be considered the importance of having a great team or crew around you. How many trainers did Andy Murray go through before hitting gold with Ivan Lendl? And what about Gregor Townsend who was appointed head coach for the Scotland team last June? I have mentioned before about surrounding yourself with strong “can do” people. My amazing MD Elaine is the perfect example and my best friend Neil is my biggest champion, always there to say “Yes you can” when you get that glimmer of doubt.
There was video that went viral on social media this week, with a young girl no more than 4 years old persistently trying to jump up onto a high step in one go. It took her about 10 attempts, with the help of her coach, but she did and achieved her goal.
We could all learn something from this wee ninja. There is no such phrase as “I can’t”