Thanks to Joe Lennon, runner, tennis player, picture framer and a good guy to have an animated debate with on a Sunday morning easy, I got to Wimbledon this year. Cheers Joe!
It was record hot, but you’ll already know that. I’d rather focus on other things. Though as an aside, drinking 3 litres of water and still being thirsty is a new experience for me, and all I was doing was watching.
No. What struck me was the unbelievable level that athletes with rackets have reached, and the support that they have to get there. I can’t think of another sport that demands that it’s athletes have power, explosive speed, fantastic co-ordination, anticipation and the ability to use all of this for up to 5 hours. At 40 degrees.
And for all of this time they are completely alone on court. But…they are not isolated.
Take Andy Murray. He is at the centre of an intricate and sophisticated system which gives him the care, conditioning and environment which he needs to perform. A big part of that is his family and in particular his wife. Even his dogs seem to know that they must do their best for him.
And that’s the take-out for me as a pretty average runner who tries hard. I know that I wouldn’t be able or motivated to do what I do if I didn’t have my family and other great people pulling for me and taking care of me. They are my eco-system, my support infrastructure and I want to do my best for them. It’s a contract.
And more importantly I want them to do well, to achieve their targets. To be there to see the pleasure which achievement can deliver. I find it thrilling and emotional to be around people who are trying and succeeding to bring their best.
Which takes me full circle back to Joe. A 60 something athlete with a generous nature, dodgy political views and a great runner. He might not know it, but he also makes people run faster!