This is exactly how I feel trying to write things down for this blog. I’m a pretty decent writer if you’re looking for detailed technical reports, graphs, and/or hard data. Creating something that makes an emotional connection is difficult for me. I’m a scientist and communicate like one…but I’m working on being more versatile in the way I connect with people. Just hang in there. I’ll try to keep this interesting.

Maybe I should start off by saying what this is all about. In short, this will be where I lay down my thoughts about being a competitor; how it affects me and how I affect the people I get to meet along the way. My goal is to offer inspiration; athletically and spiritually. I’m far from perfect in any respect, but I’m a work in progress like everyone else.

So why would I even think about getting in the Highland Games now? I just turned 40 this year. Admitting that is a small victory in itself…but it’s more about how you feel, what you think, and what you say that really defines your age, in my opinion. Most days I still believe I’m in my 20s.

Feeling good has been one of many important factors in my decision to compete. Just over a year ago I was sent to a spine specialist after I developed severe lower back pain. An MRI later and surgery was being presented as the only option to possibly alleviate a severely ruptured disc. My wife and I agreed that surgery was an absolute last resort and opted to try injections first.

The injections were successful. What many people failed to see is that our thinking and believing had to change before the body would respond. I had to know, without a doubt, that I was already healed. I had to keep believing this despite what my body was telling me, despite the doctor saying that I had one of the worst ruptures he’d ever seen, and despite others telling me that I was bound to be permanently crippled. I had to have faith. That’s a hard thing to hold on to when everything and everyone seems to be against you.

Mark 11:24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

So, we prayed and believed…and we prayed and believed. We would put aside the doubt and know that I was back to 100%. Eventually the body catches up with the mind. For some, it’s nearly immediate; for others a bit slower. The most important part is the believing and actually saying out loud what you believe. Regardless of the approach, recovery is a process with ordered steps.

Speak it. Believe it. Receive it.

The approach is simple, but effective. Don’t let a negative mindset or discouragement from anyone keep you from your full potential. We are all capable and able to do great things. We just need to vocalize in order to realize.