Success x Adversity: Meet the athletes

The world we live in has a way of building its own ideas around what success should be. As individuals it’s important we build ideas which are realistic and workable for us. That’s why over the Olympic period we found out what success means to some of our young athletes, and asked – what role does adversity play in being able to achieve it? 

As part of our wider Success x Adversity project, we interviewed Chanel, Mohammedally, and Gabriel, who all had their own individual experiences and opinions, but agreed on one thing – challenges and adversities are key in their journeys towards success.

Brazilian jiu jitsu player, actor, filmmaker, and Fight for Peace member, Mohammedally 

highlighted the sheer diversity of success – explaining that, “success is different to a lot of people.” 

“[It] isn’t objective and not something you can measure, but something you can value yourself,” he continued.

Mohammedally went on to remind us that experiencing challenges along the way doesn’t have to be a negative, but something we can come to build from. 

“Everybody has their own adversity… It’s about using that adversity to get over that hurdle and get to that place.”

20-year-old muay thai kickboxer, boxer, and Fight for Peace Youth Council member, Chanel, has experienced adversities growing up as an athlete, and has learned many lessons along the way, including the ability to challenge her own ideas and expectations of success.

“You’re gonna learn lessons you didn’t even know you needed to learn. You’re gonna learn lessons you didn’t even know were there…” she explained.

“Before I used to look at success as – I’m not successful until I’ve made it. I’m not successful until my name is known…” she said.

“I never picked up on my small successes. Now, to me – any small goal you have, and you’ve achieved, that’s a success.”

Fight for Peace boxer Gabriel also embraces the lessons that boxing teaches him, overcoming new challenges and using them to fuel him further in his journey to achieving his goals.

“I one hundred percent believe that adversity is one of the biggest life lessons you can have…” he said.

“My first boxing fight, I lost. Since then, it’s taught me to go harder no matter what.” 

Having the ability to get up and go again despite a loss demonstrates the power of persevering through tough times.

“You need setbacks to have major comebacks because then you’re not going to appreciate where you are or what you’ve done.”

So, what have we learnt from Chanel, Mohammedally and Gabriel?  It’s clear that these young athletes believe that success doesn’t have to be extravagant and loud; the quiet successes are just as important as the big ones. We’ve been encouraged to consider our own journeys towards reaching our goals, and how life’s challenges and adversities can actually help us unlock our potential both inside and outside of sport. 

It’s not about how we fall  – it’s about how we get up.

Head over to the Fight for Peace Instagram and Twitter pages to follow the full Success x Adversity project, where we’ll be sharing some new content and even more wisdom from Chanel, Mohammedally and Gabriel.

Photos:  @lmstudiography

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