Passion is the driving force behind success. For me, it has been the cornerstone of a lifetime in sports. My earliest memories are of biking around the Yorkshire Dales and competing with my brother in every possible activity in the garden. However, my competitive sports journey started when I was just six years old, bribed by the promise of winning medals at the local swimming club, my mum had a bag of medals and I wanted to earn some of my own! I then quickly discovered cross-country running, a sport that I was useless at but a sport that I fell in love with.
I still remember my first Leeds school cross-country race, I finished (I think!) 299th and nearly last. I was so red that my dad thought I was about to collapse, but despite the result, the experience captured my imagination. I turned up time and time again, improving my position each time. Eventually, at the age of eleven, I found myself running during my lunch break at school, It was a habit that stayed with me for my seven years at senior school. I had a friend who wore a white and blue vest with a rose in the middle with “Yorkshire” underneath, and I was captivated. “What is that? How do I get one?” he told me that it was a Yorkshire county cross-country vest, which could only be earned by finishing in the top 8 at the county championships in January, which was only a few weeks away.
This was the first time that I had a goal that motivated me, and I discovered a passion for training and competing that has never left me. I worked hard towards the goal, and a few months later, I finished 7th at the county championships and won my first Yorkshire vest. This was a significant turning point in my life, and it taught me the value of working towards something that you are passionate about.
Since then, I have had hundreds of goals and trained hard to achieve them. However, that first experience of discovering my passion and working towards a goal has stayed with me and has been the foundation of my sporting career.
I believe everyone has a passion in life; when you find it, you should nurture it and work hard to achieve your goals. It may take time and effort, but the rewards are worth it. I consider myself very lucky to have discovered mine as a skinny-kneed 11-year-old.
What's your passion?