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Life beings at the end of your comfort zone – Neil Donald Walsch
Ever since I can remember, even in primary school, I wanted to be lawyer. My grandfather was, my dad still is. But aside from that, I am not sure where the desire came from. The older I became the less and less I gave I questioned whether I actually wanted to be a lawyer – it was just what I was going to do with my life. It was, safe.
Throughout high school, I didn’t push my own boundaries much. I played a lot of sports but rarely went outside my comfort zones. I mean, I loved being a wicketkeeper and goalkeeper but the hand-eye coordination came rather natural to me. Like my sporting ability, in the classroom I was above average but again I never went hard at it. I did just enough.
I commenced uni doing both Law and Accounting. I guess back then I wanted to be a lawyer, or maybe more, I wanted what being a lawyer represented.
I had done a few triathlons in high school, but once I was in Uni I started taking part in long course racing. I had done two Ironmans by the time I was 21 and both times missed out on a Kona spot by one place. While I was frustrated after the second attempt, something happened to me as I was leaving the roll down ceremony, again, empty handed. I made the decision, for the first time in my life, to be ‘all in’.
I often tell my athletes that whatever your goal is – every decision you make in life is either bringing that goal towards you or taking you away from it. Every decision.
So in 2007, I was all in. Doing my absolute best to ensure that each decision I made in that six month preparation was bringing that goal of qualifying for Kona a reality. It worked, and at 22years old I won the age group in IMWA 2007 in 8:55. While it was the fastest M18-24 time in Ironman history in the country, more importantly to me I was off to the Ironman world championships. Lesson learnt. Going ‘all in’ worked and set a very important precedent going forward.
Fast forward to last year, and after five years of a rather successful start to my legal career, it was obvious to me that coaching is what I was passionate about. I had been coaching part time for 7 years and I wanted to do it full time.
My last day in a law firm was 1st September 2016. I walked out that day and became, by default, a full time triathlon coach. A massive step. But I still had my practicing certificate until 30 June 2017. So my safety net was in place if things didn’t go to plan.
Looking back, I have been able to achieve great things in the sport not because I was the best athlete (far from it really) but because I was prepared to be ‘all in’ and have no safety net. Sub 9hrs at IMWA, winning the age group in Hawaii, the world record at Ultraman Australia this year– I had no excuses, I was 100% committed to the process and everything that was in my control was going towards achieving that goal.
So today, here we are. 2 days before end of financial year 2017, and 2 days before my licence to practice as a lawyer expires. While it wouldn’t take much to maintain the licence, I have let the Queensland Law Society know that I shall not be renewing. I do not want that safety net. Our T:Zero athletes have achieved some ridiculously amazing things over the past 8 years – what they do on a daily and weekly basis is truly so inspiring. As coaches we are constantly learning and improving and if my past has taught me anything, when we go all in, the world is the limit and our athletes will be the primary benefactors of that.
What is seriously amazing is I am not alone in T:Zero. Both Coach Em and Coach Scotty have given up their prior professions (cardiac scientist and teacher respectively) to become full time coaches. It is a gamble but one they are willing to take because they too are so dedicated to help out athletes achieve their potential. In addition to the full time coaches, we also have some really talented part time coaches. They are just as passionate– but they are even more amazing as they coach along side doing jobs which they love to do –jobs that also make a real difference in people’s lives – nursing, police service etc. The coaching culture in T:Zero is brilliant and something that I feel very privileged to be a part of.
So expect the bar to be risen even higher from us - T:Zero is all in.
So, the takeaways …
1) Whatever your goals are, be crazy passionate about achieving them; and
2) Be ‘all in’. No safety net, no excuses. Be naked with that goal and stay the course until you achieve it.
Simple as that.
So what are you waiting for!?
#formerlawyer #nosafetynet #allinfortzero