top of page
  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

What makes a resilient champion?

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

(We dedicate this article to my friend, Simon, who is recovering well from what could have been an absolutely catastrophic accident).

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc with Olympic and world championship plans, leaving many athletes in limbo, at a loss about what to do, feeling despondent and demotivated and, for many, they are now in financial hardship and wondering if it is worth keeping going. I'm reaching out to all the athletes who I have been helping in small ways with achieving their sporting dreams. Here is a positive message for you.

True champions are foremost extremely resilient creatures.

Resilience: it enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against experiences which could be overwhelming, it helps us to maintain balance in our lives during difficult or stressful periods, and can also protect us from the development of some mental health difficulties and issues.

For me, resilience is about always having a positive outlook, even while in the midst of disaster. Resilience is about turning adversity into opportunity. Resilience is about not just having "Plan A", but also having "Plans B, C and D" and being able to switch plans in an instant. Resilience is about accepting that mistakes might have been made, then moving on to better things.

Bouncing back - Resilience in action!

I bounce well. Well, kind of and most of the time!

Gary, after coming within a whisker of paralysis
Gary, after coming within a whisker of paralysis

I've had several terrible setbacks in the way of injuries and infections. Following each of these, I have always managed to come back fitter and stronger than before.

Here's a couple that I have written about:

The most catastrophic setback was a little over a year ago when I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair!

I fell off my bicycle, suffering damage to my neck vertebrae with damage to my spinal cord, resulting in temporary paralysis (I still have some numbness in my right hand).