A phenomenon called Usain Bolt

Usian Bolt doing his trademark pose

The icon of modern sports

“I don’t think limits”

The line above was said by a man who is regarded as the fastest man ever in the history of mankind. Yes, you guessed it right – I am referring to Usain Bolt!

When I first read that line, I had no idea who the speaker was. Firstly, I was never an avid follower of athletics. This can be attributed to the culture of sports that is followed in our country and is ingrained in our body right since our school days. We tend to focus on team sports and in my case at least, my physical education instructor never encouraged or showed any keen interest in track events. But even then, I was never a good sportsperson. For him, a sportsperson is defined as person who engages in “team” sports.

But as I grew up and then moved on to college, I realized how wrong our mindset had become. We never actually gave that respect to athletics which it actually deserved until the race that changed the worlds and more importantly my way of looking at athletics. Thereafter, Usain Bolt has become a name synonymous with Speed, Passion, Hard Work.

My role model

If I were to describe what was so special in Bolt that inspired me and made him my role model, I would initiate with one of the reasons that precisely differentiates him from other sportsperson. The fact that he is from a country whose name is not ubiquitous as far as sports is concerned or for that matter any field. Jamaica is an island country which is still developing. In turn, the facilities available are not at par with those available in the developed countries. But over the few years this small country has produced athletes of world class quality who have competed with and challenged sportspersons from countries quite ahead of Jamaica in terms of technology, sports facilities etc. This fact is what makes this guy so special. A person who has reached this position from a not-so-good background is simply amazing.

The hardships faced by him in such an environment can be quite demotivating, enough to squash someone’s dreams of making it to the Olympics. Being from an economically backward country plagued with many problems, only qualities like passion, steely will power, extreme discipline can help you surpass the mountain of hurdles posed by a country like Jamaica whose crippling economy and rising crimes has made such tasks seemingly impossible.

Substance abuse incidents have been reported in the past from this country at international level but the best part is that nothing has blocked Bolt’s view from eyeing his target and in fact it has motivated him more to make sure he wins and removes this blot on his country. This also shows the true patriotism found in a warrior who will go to any lengths to fight for his country and make sure his country ranks among the top as far as sports is concerned. Again dedicated hard work can be seen behind this.

Looking back into the early years of Bolt, I can say with conviction that had Bolt not worked hard enough to nurture his talent for running he would not have been noticed by people around him (his coaches), consequently no one would have known who Bolt was and what he was capable of. The rise of a man from such a backward country to such stardom is phenomenal. Only hard work, dedication, commitment etc. can propel a person from a rural background to such heights.

“Would like to compete with cheetah”

A few days back, a piece of news was as interesting to read as it is to watch Bolt run in an athletic event. On being asked about his competitors, he replied coolly by saying that he was unbeatable and would love to compete with a cheetah if ever that was possible. This remark shows a lot about Bolt. To make a statement like that requires unmatched confidence and courage. Not everyone can say that they are undefeatable. You need to have faith in your hard work, a trust that can be built only after years of practice. And this Bolt has proved in the last years, when he competed with some of the world’s best athletes – Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin etc.

This never-say-die attitude, fire in the belly to take on any challenge is what is so inspiring. I try my best to maintain the same “hungry-for-more” attitude but it is not easy. But it becomes part of your DNA eventually turning into a habit. The transition requires consistent and honest efforts. The killing instinct of bolt is something that charges me a lot every time I see his video of a race or his training. It helps to raise the bar every time. This in turns helps you to look ahead in life and think big which has a positive impact on your as well as people who surround us.

Individual efforts

Athletics or track events are different from other sports, in the sense that athletics are individual focused competitions. The result solely depends on you and your efforts whereas in team sports like cricket or football, the whole team effort counts and not just individual. This is also somewhat inspiring as the amount of input amplifies greatly as you do not have support from other team members. On the battlefield you are alone and the training that you did will count directly.

In the case of Bolt, you can clearly see how much hard work he has done over the few years just for a race of 100 meters or maybe 200 or 400. Comparing with the time of practice, these distances are nothing. Consider the case of Olympics, the equation is 4 years = 10 sec (for 100 meters)!!! You do training for 4 consecutive years just for one day. It’s not that easy and requires infinite amount of patience, perseverance etc.

This in itself is something to learn from. It shows that to achieve something in life, one needs to concentrate and be focused and have infinite amount of patience. I have learnt a lot from this. Looking at things from broader perspective is very important. Short terms gains won’t lead us anywhere. The credit for this inspiration goes to Bolt.

Feet firmly planted on the ground

This one quality of Bolt I simple love. It is something that is not that common. Generally speaking, it is quite surprising to see if someone has his or her feet on the ground after tasting success. This quality of being down to earth even after Bolt has won so many accolades is a thing to be noticed. Many a times, success gets to the head and we think as ourselves being invincible and can achieve anything. Being high headed can be surprisingly dangerous. Look at Bolt when not on field. His cordial nature, his energy is quite an achievement in itself.

The way he interacts with people around him never losing his cool is what inspired me to change my behavior. He never misses a chance to praise people from other sports whenever he gets a chance to do so. This modesty again inspires me a lot. The fact that he creates a positive atmosphere around him makes him a perfect example to learn something from. The positive energy flowing from this guy has inspired many people and will continue to do so. That is why it is so fun to watch him, whether on or off the field. A jovial human being altogether!

Bolt Mania

Overall, I would say that today, some part of me has been inspired from Bolt. The background from where he has come in spite of facing so many difficulties in life, his ability to work hard consistently and focus on his main goal, his positive attitude towards life are some of the reasons because of which I consider him as my idol. He has taken athletics to a whole new level, popularizing it like anything. In fact, some scientists are conducting research studies on him. Never before a sportsperson at least in the field of athletics been an object of study. This shows the uniqueness of the individual and how talented the person is that even scientists are ready to study him!

I still watch the 100 meter race in which he created a world record with the same enthusiasm when I saw it for the first time. That video has been my source of inspiration and no matter how many times I watch it, the “fire” with which he ran those 100 meters, I can never forget that and it charges and motivates me to work harder and hardest and also makes me wonder what NOT you can achieve with hard work and the level of commitment.

Hats off to Usain Bolt!

Edited by Staff Editor


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