The refiner's fire

'No man can climb beyond the limitations of his own character' (unknown)

If the above quote is true, those of us with a desire to get better 'results' ought to invest more into developing our 'characters'.

How do we do that?

Well, an inspired man once wrote that in order to develop our character we need to learn to persevere, and to develop perseverance we need to 'suffer'. Hmmm, doesn't sound like too much fun does it, but this can help us make some sense of those times that all athletes will spend in the 'wilderness'. This might mean a bad run of results or really struggling to find the motivation to continue to train day in day out with the right intensity and commitment. It might mean being out for months with an injury or being on the receiving end of a poor ratings/rankings decision. Whatever your wilderness experience has or is going to be, you can be sure that it will be a period in which your 'character' is developed. In my opinion 'character' is a key requirement to help you through those critical moments in competition, so let's look to welcome those opportunities we have to suffer just a little!

Even gold is subject to the refiner's fire, so character forming wilderness experiences ought to be treasured! Counter-culture thinking, but what else did you expect?! Oh, and that inspired man goes on to say that the end product of suffering, perseverance, and character is HOPE, or in our context as athletes an OPTIMISTIC view of the future and what we can achieve.