Winning the Gold at Beijing brought me many accolades ... Some were well deserved ... and others, not really! The world applauded my "calm and composure". An international mag declared me "the coolest man on earth" (Cool as in CALM, controlled, stoic and Swami-like, sadly not cool as in slick George Clooney-like!).
This description was definitely NOT based on merit! I might add that Usain Bolt was simultaneously declared the fastest man alive. Mercifully in many parts of the world, and hopefully in Jamaica, "fast" remains a descriptive synonym for
speed and agility. However in the local languages in India, both Hinglish and Hindi use "fast" and "tez" as dubious
character qualifications! In its original context, it was a title he deserved unlike mine which came out of lofty perceptions !
Well to get back to moi... The coolest? Hell NO! But I deserve an Oscar for best performance in a leading role! (I almost made it to the cool Clooney club in my eyes!)
The truth is that I am pretty much a nervous wreck most of the time! The all-pervasive thought during competitions is how to survive the immediate present without collapsing in a puddle of sweat or needing a hotline to a shrink!
I am often asked how one copes with the pressure when all eyes are on you and still manages to come out a winner? My disappointing answer is there are absolutely no secrets one can access from the depths of one's subconscious mind or metaphysical being! (Also, levitation is best avoided whilst holding a rifle!).
There is also no Getafix magic potion available...Gaul? No its ALL about GALL!
At that point, it all boils down to courage, determination and nerve... and an ability to become best friends with that churning in your stomach! There is no choice but to gather every bit of your energy, ego and resources and face the
challenges head on! There are not too many appealing options available at the time, though taking a very deep breath and rearranging your facial contours to resemble the Sphinx can sometimes be good. One must train the mind to start doubting doubts and believing beliefs and literally aiming for your target! Easier said than done, but it's a journey which keeps you on your toes every time with amazing results when you manage all of the above !
, fastest, cool, - Whoever you are, junk the stress... !