As my front page says I joined the Royal Marines, but to qualify you have to go through a lot of different tests both physical and mental, if you pass these you are then sent to Royal Marines Training Centre Lympstone in Devon for the Potential recruits course. The course is four Days of physical and mental tests, but to describe them would be like putting hell on Earth for four days.
You arrive by train guarded by a couple of stocky and alert Marines. I remember arriving and thinking to myself what am I doing? I had got there with hardly any physical preparation as I had injured my back a few Months before and to be honest on reflection I wasn't ready.
Each Day I would go through the tests just scrapping through and by the time I had come to the third Day my back was playing up so bad. I set off on the endurance course, which is a course set on woodbury common, full of freezing cold water, tunnels, mud and various other obstacles. We came to the end and I was so tired. Much to our delight we were given a half telegraph pole and ordered to take turns carrying this four at a time between a team of six, We made it the end and then the fun began we had a two mile run back to the camp, at this point I could feel my back giving up the ghost and had to stop and say I couldn't carry on, as the rest of the team carried on my heart sank and I felt a complete failure. The Land Rover stopped and I jumped in the back and was taken back to camp, passing my team on the way which made it even worse.
Once back at camp I packed my bag and went home completely gutted and had to explain to my friends and family I had failed. The were all lovely and supportive but it didn't matter as my dreams had been shattered.
All sorts of questions were going round in my head, mainly "how do i recover from this?" and "what am I going to do?". I decided I was going to try again but in a years time. I went to speak to the recruiting officer and explained my decision. I spent the next few Months taking care of my back and getting help from a chiropractor. I then followed the recruiting programme, but decided to look into it further and started undertaking triatholon training. I remember one Morning at 5am I was running and throwing up, as I was pushing myself, training twice a Day for 6 Days a week, running in the morning and circuit training in the evening, every other day swimming.
I remember arriving back at the Royal Marines Training Centre and in my mind I had already passed. I was full of confidence and at the end of the four days I was told I had passed.
I suppose you ask why am I writing this well there are a few lessons to take from this which helped me and I believe will help you.
1. If you have an injury, make sure you get help from a specialist to recover
2. All ways take care of your body, you only have one and you are special
3. Most of the battle as long as you have prepared, is in the mind, you are able and capable of achieving things, but you need to believe in yourself
4.Have passion for the things you are doing, if you are not enjoying it, change it, or try to understand why you are not enjoying it
5. Ask for help
6. Your mind is stronger than you think and you can achieve greatness, yes you
7. Prepare and research what you want to do and look at the best way to achieve it, one of the sayings in the services, pardon my French: Piss Poor Preparation, Equals Poor Performance.
8. Failure is never failure, but a lesson to help you become stronger, which in turn helps you approach things differently, enjoy the lesson(s) as you are strong
I am a great advocate in all these things and believe you are able to achieve what you want as long as you work hard and take care of your physical and mental health.
My friend and race driver coach, Enzo Mucci, Posts amazing blogs and these are really great for anything you are doing in life, not just racing, he has helped and inspired me along the way and here is his link. Before you ask there is no catch or commitment, but just sharing a friends page, who has helped me in so many ways: http://www.theracedrivercoach.com/
You are important, love yourself, take care of yourself and ask for help
Its funny this one particular Blog feels more like a lecture than a lesson, great to speak to you and I will post another blog again soon