Monday, 15 August 2016

Do you have the mental strength to be an Olympian?

I do love a good online quiz.

There's nothing like it to while away a few moments when I should be working, but in fairness I'm my own boss and entitled to an occasional break - that's what I'll tell myself at my next annual review anyway.

While I was supping one of my numerous daily cups of tea - just wondered if there's a recommended allowance for tea, the same way as there is for fruit and veg? - I had a go at the 'Do you have the mentality of an Olympian?' quiz on the BBC website (

I can safely say that I don't have the body nor the athletic ability of an Olympian, but funnily enough it turns out I qualify as a 'solid athlete', which tells me I have 'most of the mental strengths needed to be a good athlete, but I may struggle to challenge Usain Bolt & Co to get on the medals podium'.

This insight caused me much amusement, as I thought back to my school days and the PE lesson where I was told by the teacher 'You'll never be a sprinter, because sprinters are born not made.  But you could always train to be a long distance runner.'

To date, I've never taken this risk either.  I'm sure Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe are much relieved. 

That's not to say I haven't run in the past.  I took part in the 'Run the World' fundraiser and shuffled along nicely, and I've even been known to run for a bus occasionally.  However, due to a niggling knee injury, walking is now my chosen method of transportation and exercise.

The quiz was quite insightful in some ways though, as it was written by a sports psychologist from Loughborough University.

It turns out I score highly in the following categories: conscientiousness; perfectionism; focus; social support; motivation and competitiveness.

Unsurprisingly, I didn't score so highly in self confidence.  Funnily enough, I don't have the belief that I can be an Olympian - not until tea drinking becomes an Olympic sport anyway!

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