Here’s a picture of Martine Wright, playing for Great Britain in the volleyball. I’ve written about the volleyball before, so what’s different this time..?
Well, Martine is wearing number 7 on her shirt, which is relevant to her story, and by literally looking at the bigger picture you can get to the ‘bottom’ of her story.
Go back 7 years to July 6th 2005, and London was awarded the 2012 Olympics.
It was a surprise because Paris had been the favourite, and the decision was met with a mixture of excitement and cynicism.
Martine decided to go for a few drinks with her friends. She woke up 10 minutes later for work the next morning and found herself running for the underground train. Little did she know that would be the last time she would ever use those legs.
She took her seat and was reading about the Olympics in the paper when a suicide bomber sitting a few feet away detonated his bomb. She says she remembered a blinding flash of white, and then being hurled around from side to side.
She woke up to see huge swathes of metal in her legs, and as the lights dimmed so did the noise of other passengers, which Martine later realised was because they had died.
She remembers seeing a carriage door open after an age, and a woman approach. The woman was off duty police officer, Liz Kenworthy, and it was only the tourniquet that Kenworthy applied which saved Martine’s life.
One of the last survivors to be pulled from the wreckage, she was in a coma for a week. She was so badly injured that her relatives who were trying to find her did not recognise her. Martine woke up to find her legs had gone, and she spent the next year in hospital.
She said she had the choice between giving up and never walking again, or deciding to get used to her prosthetic legs and making a new life for herself. She says it was as much a mental challenge as a physical one, and you can imagine why.
She married her boyfriend, learnt to fly, learnt to ski, had a child, and when she was asked to go for a Paralympic sport try out day, she went along and fell in love with sitting volleyball.
It used to be called ‘bum ball’, and as the name suggest, it’s volleyball played sitting on the floor. Martine joined a club, and when she tried for the GB team she was thrilled to get into the squad.
Much like the standing game, the GB team is a whole new venture developed because the Games were coming to London. The Brits lost all three group matches, and didn’t progress any further.
So, a waste of time, right?
The tale of goal setting and hard work is not new in sport, it’s why I write about sport so much. The same lessons apply to Martine, with 25 hours week on the court, but her story has the extra layers of overcoming the physical challenges and mental traumas of surviving something like the 7/7 bombings.
She didn’t feel sorry for herself after losing both legs, and says she has done things she never would have done otherwise.
She chose to wear the number 7 shirt, with London 2012 coming 7 years after the 7/7 bombings which changed her life.
Look to your own problems, your own challenges, your own barriers to your goals. Then think of Martine Wright playing for her country in the Paralympics and ask if your problems aren’t as bad as you thought they were?
Do let me know what you think – leave a comment, or share, like, tweet etc on facebook and so on.
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. You can grab my motivational book here ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’
P.P.S. If you fancy reading more of my Olympic articles, just type Olympics into the search box at the top right of the page, and they’ll all come up!