“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
This quote stands out for me because after 20 years in elite sports I still come in and work my butt off daily to reach my goals. Yes sure you walk into the gym at times tired, sore or even other stuff going on in your life but you got to do what you got to do to be the best.
What is more special than working daily on your goals on and off the platform and reaching them at the end of the day after months or years of grinding.
Lifting is one of those very special things for me because I don’t just see it as my sport where I have to win or break records to feel fulfilled although I love when that happens as a bonus but for me it is going into the gym and walking out happy. I honestly love weightlifting and training. I love where I am at at the moment and I love that it makes me feel happy to lift heavy weights every day. For me the sport is special, I love the challenges. I love coming into the gym with a mission every session, I have a plan every workout and every lift I do I want to make it count.
Growing up in sport and in a tough environment I have always tried my hardest to hold onto why I do what I do. I love the work and I love being the best I can so I do the work, I focus on recovery and I do the mental preparation to get to the top. Everyone needs reminders in their life sometimes when things are not always going as planned or when you don’t feel as motivated but having a plan or a big goal should be kept in the back of your mind every day you go in to get that much closer to it.
I have always set goals and I am one that likes working with a plan in fact not just like but I have to have a plan. I have to know what I am working towards and how I will get there. When I have that, I have purpose. This is definitely not something that’s an overnight thing for me. It’s a way of life and it’s how I live. I work hard, I have a passion and I will do what it takes to reach the top. Why? Because I want it.
Everyone that knows me knows how much this has been a passion from school days. It’s me! I don’t back down to a challenge but take it face on. I had the privilege in the past of earning my spot in the National Team and it was kept there if I put in the work and performed. Winning South Africas first weightlifting gold medal at the youth commonwealth games in Australia and breaking the Commonwealth youth record and then going on to get silver at the University World Championships in Greece and also winning a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic games are one of my top Youth Weightlifting achievements that set the base for me and has sparked something inside of me that has not stopped shining ever since.
I started coaching as well from a very young age because I wanted others to experience what I did. I wanted others to share my passion and I wanted to carry over the great things I have learnt in this sport to others. It would be a shame if I kept it all to myself and couldn’t share the amazing sport and what it has taught me to other passionate athletes.
I have had the privilege of coaching from my home gym in Framesby South Africa when I was still in school, to later on owning Crossfit ECX and the ECX dragons where my passion continued as a coach and an athlete. After that amazing journey I moved to USA where again I continued my coaching passion and Draak Weightlifting started. Every person I have ever met in this journey has a special place in my heart and you meet people who will continue to be friends for life even if you don’t speak often. This sport has taken me all over the world and I am so grateful to be in something I love so much every single day.
Be the person you want to be proud of in the future. Remember what you stand for and your values. Remember why you do what you do and go chase your dreams and don’t let anyone stop you or bring you down. It is yours for the taking.