Thought For The Day #1917 February 2014
Broadcast 17th of February 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol
The coldest it ever gets in the Jamaican mountains is 10°C, which is nowhere near enough to snow. But that hasn’t stopped the island of Cool Runnings fame rubbing shoulders with Olympic bobsleighers. Now, I’m not an expert but I’m pretty sure you’re going to need some kind of icy conditions to train for the Winter Olympics. It’s amazing what you can achieve with little else than sincere ambition.
The nearest I’ve ever come to Olympic achievement are personal successes. Getting through the death of loved ones immediately springs to mind. I’ve lost two people to alcohol: a best friend and my father. There were times when I really didn’t think it was possible to go back to living a normal life.
The feelings associated with addiction are immense. I know this both from witnessing others and my own struggles. In the same way that most people cannot compete at the level of Olympians because of their lack of experience and training, so too do most of us feel out of our depth with addiction. Winning a medal takes years of single-pointed dedication and a large team of skilled and loyal helpers.
I don’t believe you can completely overcome addiction, so I can’t compare it exactly to winning an Olympic decoration. But those that suffer on the mountains of addiction and those that risk their lives to safely bring them down are equally as awe inspiring as our world class athletes. As hard as the journey towards freedom may seem it is in no way impossible. The only credential needed to qualify for taking part in a feat of Olympic proportions is to want it.