South African LD Triathlete of the Year 2011/2012

According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, it takes a predicted 10 000 hours to become successful at anything. I have always been of the opinion that success does not come to those who are “lucky” – just ask Bill Gates. Success is the sum of opportunity, hours of work, and a hard, hard character!

I have never considered myself “lucky”, in fact the amount of scars on my body is testiment that my existance is rather to the contrary 😉 However, I too have been clocking up my 10 000 hours since childhood. I found these classic kodak moments from the old photo albums, as evidence of my initial hour accumulation…

My first set of “real” wheels – a collapsible orange hand-me-down! This solid steel  (European designed ;-)) bike provided me with comprehensive  bike handling skills, and a certain degree of strength training (no gears!). I can never regret the freedom, and love of cycling that came out of riding this bike. At least 1000 hours.

Early swim training. As soon as I could swim, you could be sure that I would be the first one in a pool, and play all day (even skipping lunch), until my eyes were bloodshot from the chemicals…

Pictured here is a holiday picture, taken in Kwazulu- Natal. I am in front, smiling from ear to ear :).

Behind is my big sister, (who seemingly had a pretty nice stroke back then!), I tried to imitate her alot, as she could swim crawl, and well, I had only just got the dog paddle right…

Hours spent in the pool in the 1980’s? I am sure around 5000 hours.

One of my very first athletic events. At the time, I never thought of this as sport or competition, but rather, as another ‘class’ in the school day.

This was the “Bean Bag” race – ok, you can all stop laughing at this early ‘Bean’ connotation! As stupid as this race may seem, it does demonstrate that it is not necessarily the fastest ‘hare’ that wins the race, but the one who is most skillful and practiced. Seeing though I am second last in this picture, one can safely deduce that a few more training hours were needed!

There has always been ‘The Competition’. While initially, you get beaten, competitors are actually your friends – they teach you something each time you encounter them, if you are willing to open your eyes!

Most of these girls probably kicked my butt, this day, way back in grade 2! I could have easily decided that this simply wasn’t worth doing because I didn’t win, yet some two decades later, I have won some :-)

Hours spent dreaming of winning – 9 999.


3 Responses to “10 000 hours to success”

  1. Michael on August 23rd, 2010 2:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing! :-)

  2. Wongstar on August 25th, 2010 2:40 am

    cuuuuuute! I love these. I’ll have to dig some up of my own when I go home next month!! 😀

  3. Brian Pivo on August 30th, 2010 12:33 pm

    For those who haven’t yet read Outliers, it’s a worthwhile read, especially if you’re achievement orientated. To be fair, I think triathletes need 10,000 hours in each discipline, especially swimming. So that’s 30,000 hours which is 15 years of 40 hours training a week…!

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