Decisions

“I’ve had it. If anyone sees me near a boat they can shoot me.”
Sir Steve Redgrave, Atlanta 1996

Probably one of the most famous quotes in British Sports history, Sir Steve Redgrave defiantly uttered after winning a forth Gold Medal at the Atlanta Olympics, he officially retired only to make a come back and win yet another Gold in Sydney four years later.

I made the decision to retire from competition karate over three years ago, well before I started to sink, I knew this year would be thirty years of competing in the National Championships, I saw that as a landmark, probably a record here in the UK and a benchmark for those that follow, it was a significant number and at 39, it seemed the right time to retire.

On the day of the competition as I spoke with people about it, I used my own version of Sir Steve’s quote, if anyone saw my near a competition mat with my karate suit on, they could shoot me! I honestly had my mind made up, a decision made over three years before, that was it, it was over and the reception of all the members of the JKA England when they announced my retirement as I collected my medal was mind blowing, a moment I will treasure forever.

But last Sunday, just two weeks after the Nationals, our Chief Instructor, Ohta Sensei, visited my club to carry out a grading examination for my students, then things in my mind began to change a little.

Ohta Sensei was the Chief Judge for my final performance and a corner judge for my semi final, he has witnessed all my performances over the last ten years, both here in the UK and with the England team abroad.

As we chatted before the class was due to start, we spoke about the Nationals, that’s when he told me I should carry on and that it was the best he’s ever seen me compete!

Oh WOW, now I’m a little confused, I’ve made a decision, a statement of intention and I do intend to fully go ahead with it. But that wasn’t something I had planned for!

But part of me is wondering, if after everything that has happened in my life over the last three years since that decision was made, if after all that I’ve come through, I’ve not only become a better person, but a better competitor, the old me had so many flaws, the new improved me could actually continue to improve.

I know three weeks ago I approached every performance on the day differently to what I’ve ever done before, my preparations as I wrote about in my post “Close To The End Of The Zone” I followed as always, but I added a key component, one that I’ve never added before, it must have made a massive difference, it certainly felt different.

After all the years, after the hundreds upon hundreds of competitions I’ve took part in and the thousands of individual performances I’ve completed, I am always nervous, have a tendency to look tense in my movement and rush through it. These have been criticisms I’ve faced, but nerves always brought out these habits!

Sometimes, I’ve tried to take pressure off myself, told myself not to worry about the result, just enjoy it, that works, it helps, I always feel I do better. But in the big tournaments, when you are there to chase medals, it’s hard to remove those nerves and that tension.

But this year, as I stood aside the mat awaiting my turn, I took a moment, a moment to pray, I just prayed for a calmness of the heart as I walked out, a calmness to perform without tension or nerves.

Well, it worked, lets face it prayer always does, I felt so different, so much more in control, so much more relaxed, I could move how I wanted and control the movements so much better, not on the edge as I have been previously.

Obviously, not only I noticed it, but Ohta Sensei and friends alike!

Do we sometimes make decisions, even drawn out calculated decisions too early?

How could I have foreseen what I would go through three years ago?

How could I have ever believed who I would be now three years ago?

For the time being, I am retired and I intend to stay that way! But next year, next June, you just never know?

You might just have to shoot me!!!!!

UNSTOPPABLE LOVE by KIM WALKER-SMITH
Try to stop Your love and You would wage a war
Try to take the very thing You gave Your life for
You would come running
Tear down every wall
All the while You’re shouting
“My Love, you’re worth it all”.

God you pursue me with power and glory
Unstoppable Love that never ends
You’re unrelenting with passion and mercy
Unstoppable Love that never ends

You broke into the silence and sang a song of hope
A melody, a sound in the deep of my soul
You have come running
You tore down every wall
All the while you’re shouting,
“My Love you’re worth it all”

God you pursue me with power and glory
Unstoppable Love that never ends
You’re unrelenting with passion and mercy
Unstoppable Love that never ends

God you pursue me with power and glory
Unstoppable Love that never ends
You’re unrelenting with passion and mercy
Unstoppable Love that never ends

No sin, no shame,
No past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth,
No fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

No sin, no shame,
No past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth,
No fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

Whoa
Your love, yeah

God you pursue me with power and glory
Unstoppable Love that never ends
You’re unrelenting with passion and mercy
Unstoppable Love that never ends

Try to stop Your love and You would wage a war.

6 thoughts on “Decisions

  1. writerwannabe763

    I think we sometimes do make decisions without knowing what the future may hold…but that’s the great thing for me being a woman …we can always change our mind… ha! But I think men can too….Diane

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Diane
      I guess I can always change my mind, we’ll just have to wait and see what the next year brings. If the great Sir Steve Redgrave can go back and do it all again, maybe I can!
      Wayne

      Reply
  2. gegebearbear

    Ok, it worked for that….lets try one more time!
    Decisions can be snap decisions and we can somtimes be pushed. Bit it is well known, over the South, that it is a womsn’perrogative to chane her mind. Not that this helps you much, thought it might get a chuckle out of you……..Jill

    Reply
  3. gegebearbear

    Oops… one more thing… two massive things have changed inyour life. Number one: God has a huge presence in your life now Number two: Alcohol is no longer a factor in your life. Your body and brain are free. Enjoy!

    Reply

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