Competing at the very highest level in any sporting endeavour is not as plain sailing as many presume. I often hear people say “if you paid me that amount of money to run around for that amount of time I’d do his/her job“. But the plain facts of the matter are that it is anything but easy to get to the top and stay there. There are very good reasons why most don’t make it at the very highest level.
Very occasionally, there are those that stand out from the crowd, persist under the most demanding conditions, and persevere continuously in the face of adversity. We call them Champions.
Over the past 4 years the 1,500 m Great Britain runner Ellie Stevens has been on an incredible journey of self discovery. In 2006 after being ranked in the top 5 indoor competitors in the country she contracted mumps forcing her out of the championships that year. In 2008 after regaining fitness from a fracture she was then diagnosed with the Chronic Fatigue Illness ME and was forced out of the 2009 season completely.
Now she’s back and fighting to transcend her previous track accolades in the indoor championships ultimately gearing up to qualifying for London 2012, and one more thing…she’s after a medal.
But it’s not just about the physical aspects of training, nor the stringent nutritional plans set by her coach. It’s not just about the strategies and tactics employed during competition day. It’s about something much much more. One women’s Passion, Will Power and perseverance to fight in the face of adversity.
Ellie makes a conscious decision every day, to choose her response to the circumstances she faces in her life. She realises that sometimes she can’t control the circumstances she finds herself in.But she is also aware of the secret weapon she carries inside. Her Champions Attitude. She realises she is in control of her response to any circumstance, especially the tough ones ; “I have even more enthusiasm and determination now than ever before. I will fight my own battles. I’m still here fighting to be Britain’s number one”. If you ask her about 2012? Thats straight forward too! With a smile on her face and beam of ambition in her eyes she says “why not”?
With the mental toughness she has developed, one thing is for sure. She has never been in a better position to achieve her dreams at 2012; “working with the exercises Tom gives makes such an impact mentally.I truly believe I would have been the forgotten women of athletics had it not been for the guidance he gave me”. After coming 2nd in the Northern indoor Championships and 6th in the UK Indoor Championships after such a long period out it looks like Ellie Stevens has one thing on her Mind. Being the Very Best, No Excuses.
Psychologically, she has never been so well prepared, and nearing the peak of her physical age, having overcome some of the toughest circumstances in her health, the picture seems to be very clear. Ellie Stevens is back, and she’s back for Great Britain!