Happy New Year one and all.
The festive period is now over and hopefully we’re all getting back into a routine and ready to pound those pavements ready for May 1st and the Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10k.
Hands up who sacrificed a few hours of family time on Christmas Day to get a few miles in? No? Me neither!
Hands up who sacrificed a drunken New Year’s Eve in order to have an early night ready for a track session on New Years morning? No? Me neither!
Hands up who sacrificed a Christmas party in favour of a pounding out a tempo run? No? Me neither!
Although I did CHOOSE to do these things.
Sometimes we think we are making a sacrifice, but often we really aren’t. We are just making a choice about how to live our lives. I know I’ve felt this way in my own life. Right now as an athlete I am choosing to pack my bags and head off to Kenya for a month; to be away from family and friends and to put my training before certain other things. That’s not a sacrifice, it’s a choice. It’s a choice I’m making to help me achieve my goals, my dreams.
When I left my job to concentrate more time on training, that was also a choice. Sometimes it can feel like a sacrifice since I can’t afford to impulse buy new clothes or have all the latest gadgets etc. Still I chose to do this for me and to give me the best possible chance of achieving my dreams. The Olympics only come round every four years. Jobs, clothes, gadgets, holidays etc will be there forever.
Most of the sacrifices I’ve talked about are social or financial and they really aren’t sacrifices, they are choices that I make, often on a daily basis. I am giving something up for my personal gain. These choices won’t directly benefit anyone else. Some may say they are even selfish. A true sacrifice means you give something up for the betterment of others.
The point I’m trying to make is that to me, these things aren’t sacrifices, they are CHOICES. We choose to do these things in order to give ourselves the best possible chance of being the best we can be. They are lifestyle choices and if you make the right choices, work hard and most importantly, stay true to yourself, then you can achieve your dreams. Make the wrong choices and you are sacrificing your dreams.
Right now when I think of the sacrifice of time I give to my training, I realise it is actually a choice. It’s one I am making freely and without reservation. What price can I put on chasing my dream? If I achieve what I’m aiming for, all the choices will have been worthwhile. If I don’t achieve those goals and dreams, then at least I’ve had a blooming good time chasing them and will live the rest of my life with some amazing memories and having met some amazing people and with no regrets of the choices I made.
Next time someone asks you about a sacrifice you may have made, think long and hard about whether it really is a sacrifice or a choice. Often the two are indistinguishable, but still, it’s worth consideration.