Do you know? I didn’t, until very recently, at which point I was prompted to write this article. Read on and I’ll tell you who she is, what she means for *your* goal achievement, and why she may knock one of my favourites off her perch…
So, Holly Bleasdale is an athlete. She’s 19 as of July 2011, (I’ll come back to that in a while) and she’s from the UK. Her sport is the pole vault, and regular readers of mine will know I’ve written about that particular event many times. Blimey, I even tried it once, but that’s a story for another article – for now the focus is on Holly.
In July 2011, she set a new British record of 4.70 with the world record being Yelena Isinbayeva’s 5.04. That may not make 4.70 look like much, but there are 3 important points, the first being Bleasdale is only 19. Secondly, it broke the previous British record by a full 10 centimetres, and thirdly she has only been competing for 3 years. Each of these points is worth elaborating, so let’s jump in…
When she jumped that 4.70, Bleasdale not only vaulted higher than any other British woman ever has, she went higher than any other 19yr old ever has worldwide! It’s an age group world record, higher even than the legendary Isinbayeva went when she was 19. Inspired by Isinbayeva, Bleasdale is using that inspiration to break new territory.
By breaking the British record by 10 centimetres, Bleasdale may well have blown £50,000. The UK governing body gives £5,000 for every world record, and pole vaulters are notorious for breaking the world record 1 centimetre at a time. They do that precisely to cash in on those incentives. Isinbayeva has broken the record nearly 20 times, and she got a lot more than £5,000 each time!
Bleasdale says that she is not bothered by that though, she just wants to go as high as she can as soon as she can. The cash doesn’t mean as much as the height. I love that enthusiasm! It may be fuelled by youth, but it’s refreshing, and a genuine desire to be the best you can be without self limits is a great lesson.
I did say that she has only been competing for 3 years. When Isinbayeva won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, Bleasdale had never even tried it! It was her mum that persuaded her to give it a try. Now, only 3 years later, she is the British record holder, and her 4.70 is the 6th best in the world for the year.
That puts her in the frame for medals, and with London 2012 less than a year away, the media is starting to notice her. This article is but one example!
I’ve loved sport for a long time, and it never fails to give lessons about goal achievement, and they can be seen so clearly in the sporting environment. Transferring the ideas to a non-sporting world may seem hard, but it’s important not to over-complicate the lessons. Let me sum up Holly’s…
Yes, she is young, but that’s not a necessity for setting or achieving goals. She was prepared to try something new though, and she was prepared to work hard at it. She drew inspiration from someone who had scaled the heights (literally) before her, and she has burning enthusiasm – she loves what she does!
To go from novice to national record in 3 years is fast, particularly in something as technical as the pole vault. You may have no desire to pole vault 4.70, but think about what you *would* like to do within 3 years – what’s stopping you, why can’t you take the next step towards it right now?
Who knows how long that record of 4.70 will stand, it may well be out of date by the time you read this, but the ideas I’ve covered will not go anywhere, so when you think of your own goals, remind yourself that you now know the answer to the question ‘Who the hell is Holly Bleasdale?’
I don’t know if Holly’s read my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ but if she did read it, she would be ticking off the theories and ideas I write about. It works for her, so why not grab your own copy right now and jump start your goal achievement