Success breeds success

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In just a few weeks the Olympics kicks off and our televisions will be filled with the finest sporting specimens the world has to offer.  On the BBC there will be non-stop, multi-channel coverage and highlights on every other channels’s news broadcasts.  We won’t escape pictures of sporting prowess and commitment.

One of the hoped-for benefits of hosting the Olympic games is an upsurge in sports participation.  The last few years have seen the growth of mass particpation events, ranging from 5km Race for Life events, through to incerases in big city races like the Birmingham half marathon or Manchester City Games.

As a Personal trainer, I am really looking forward to the games and am also delighted it has helped motivate people to be active.  The question is what prompted the interest in these big events?

In part it is down to the recent successes UK runners such as Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe have enjoyed on the world stage after years of limited British success.  The Olympics may also have played it’s part and charities have also realised how effective big sports events can be in  raising both profiles and pounds.

However one of the big reasons has been success breeding success.  Just over 6,000 people completed the first London Marathon 30 years ago.  This year there were 40,000 competitors and at least three times that many were denied places.  I bet most people reading this have participated in run an event like a 5km Race for Life or big event like the Great north Run and even if they haven’t know a friend who has.

Seeing someone else succeed in completing a sporting challenge, motivates us to have a go.  Experiencing success in a smaller challenge, like running 5km, motivates us to try a bigger one, like a half-marathon.

We’re not all built to run.  Maybe running doesn’t float your boat, but exercise and physical activity does allow us to achieve small successes.  It might be scoring a goal in a social game of netball or football.  It might be swimming an extra length at the pool or completing a challenging walk.

The funny thing is, the more little successes we achieve, the more we crave the next one.  So my challenge to you is to achieve a little victory in a physical activity over the next fortnight.  You might even write it  below this blog-you’ll have earned the right to gloat and you’ll have achieved the first in a long line of successes.