Prayer does it for Goule
Her winsome smile on the television screen before her races may indicate that she is always beaming with confidence, but Natoya Goule never believed she had what it takes to compete with the likes of Caster Semenya and some of the other great 800m runners in the world - at least not until she lined up for the final of the event at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast Australia, she admitted to The Gleaner in a recent interview.
Goule, who ran the race of her life to take a bronze medal, said that it was prayer which caused her to get over the doubt which normally swirls in her mind before big races.
"Sometimes I think too much and I doubt myself when I go to big Championships, saying that this or that person is better than me," Goule said. "This year, I said: "Look, I trust in God, so why not go out there with Confidence. And when I was at the Commonwealth Games, every time some negative thoughts would come in my mind, I would just pray and ask God to take them away from me. Because I realised that at these championships, no names are written on the medals before the race is run."
She continued: "Even right before the race, I was praying."
ENOUGH TO DO JOB
The confidence she generated at the line from her quiet prayer was enough to propel her to run below the 1:59.00 minutes barrier, a target she has been trying to accomplish for the past five seasons.
At one point, that target seemed insurmountable, and turned the former Manchester High School standout's mind against the event she had grown to love.
"At a point, I almost gave up on wanting to do the 800m because I was not feeling the love for it anymore. Because I would train so hard each year and I was not seeing the results that I wanted," Goule admitted. "And when I go to the championships, because I doubted myself so much, I would not run the rounds the way I was supposed to, and so I would not make it to the final."
But her run at the Commonwealth Games has injected some impetus into the 27-year-old athlete's career and she is confident this new wave will yield more success in the near future.
"It really gives me a big motivation knowing that I was able to run a huge PB (personal best) in the first part of April," Goule said. "I know that I can go faster because I had more in the tank."
Goule's personal best now stands at 1:58.82 minutes and according to her, it is likely to go before the season ends.