16 December, 2011

Mind over matter

I admit that I spend a large amount of my time on YouTube. It is such a great invention. There is a colossal amount of interesting and inspiring stuff out there if you spend a little time looking. I’ve been doing a fair bit of turbo training recently which gives me about an hour and a half of looking for distractions in the kitchen – YouTube is perfect!

Respect where respect is due. This post was going to be dedicated to people and things that I think deserve respect with several different angles on mental strength and examples of different people. However, in my eyes Thomas Voeckler personifies suffering. The man is a glutton for punishment and possesses seemingly endless capacity to endure pain. I suppose that’s why he’s such a great rider.

The video below shows the stage in the 2004 Tour de France when he went above and beyond expectation, perceived ability and (really) any common sense to keep the yellow jersey. He pushes himself beyond where most people can go. I think it’s one of the most inspiring videos on the internet right now, certainly that I’ve seen recently.

(At 1:56 he's so zoned in he looks like he's singing encouragement to himself!)

Then, unbelievably, he repeated this show of total commitment to again defend the yellow jersey in this year's Tour, in particular on stage 18. The guy is a complete animal! He admitted himself at the Tour that he was not capable of winning the race overall and yet he willingly tore his own legs off to try anyway. I can only have pure respect for this kind of devotion/insanity and hope that I can do the same in my career.

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