Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Life lessons from Bolt

Published:Thursday | June 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Kudos to Racers Track Club and collaborating sponsors on the second staging of the JN Racers Grand Prix dubbed Salute to a Legend. For generations to come, fans worldwide will remember the powerhouse of a sprinter from the 'land of wood, water and speed'.

As I sat titillated by the thrill of another victory run, I pondered what might have been going through Bolt's mind. (He did say it was "nerve-wracking") The expert commentator echoed my thoughts simultaneously. But after the race was through, amid the fanfare and regaling, three lessons were indelibly etched in my mind.

First, resilience and stick-to-itiveness. Usain has always spoken of his poor start whenever the post-race interview is done. But which race has he lost that has been attributed to a poor start? The answer is glaringly obvious. Consequently, it's never about how you start, but more important, how you finish. He always finished ahead of the field.

Second, being present. I recall Usain always saying when quizzed about an upcoming race in relation to training or his competitors, "it's on the day". It resonated with me so much that there were times so as to not be anxious or bothered by a particular task, I would quip, "as Usain would say, 'It's on the day'." Here is one who truly lived in the moment. He went to do business and always executed while enjoying every moment and thrilling the fans in the process.

Third, an attitude of gratitude! Someone once said, "Saying thanks is more than good manners, it is good spirituality." It was simply heartwarming to hear the legend himself say "thank you". He was not in a rush, taking the time to thank his coach, parents, best friend, and those of us who make the most noise - the Jamaican supporters.

He could not have done all of this by himself. He even thanked his illustrious competitors. After all, without them, he'd be left in the starting blocks without a run!

Thank you, Usain, for making such a big deal about being Jamaican!

The last finish line has been crossed in Jamaica, but undoubtedly, the legend is raring to go for the grand finale at the IAAF World Championships, even if it's only the 100m! We wish him Godspeed!