Evan O’Hanlon: What’s your excuse?

The Australian sprinter, who runs 100m in 10.79 seconds, blogs about what it means to try instead of wonder. 09 Apr 2014
Man crossing a finish line in a stadium, celebrating

Australia's Evan O'Hanlon celebrates winning the men's 100m T38 final at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

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By Evan O'Hanlon

I have brain damage and I'm still here kicking and chasing dreams.

I'm back and I've decided to start blogging again for Paralympic.org for the upcoming IPC Athletics season.

Considering how long it’s been, though, I thought I would revisit one of my original themes – when people say “I’ve always dreamed of …”

This time, however, I am that little bit older, a little bit wiser, and most importantly, a little bit faster!

You know what I really don't like? When I hear someone start a sentence with “I've always dreamed of …”

For me that “…” is exactly what I hear because I've already tuned out.

I really couldn’t care what it is you've always dreamt of doing and you know why?

Because when you start a question with "I've always dreamed of..." you are simply telling me you haven't tried yet.

And if you haven't tried yet, and I mean not even began to explore it, then you probably never will.

And if you probably never will, that means one of two things to me; either you are not truly passionate about what you've been "dreaming" about, or you simply are not brave enough to attempt it.

What I think, and many people fail to realise, is that it is better to try and fail then to die wondering.

There are three reasons why you should do the thing you are dreaming of:

1. You will feel better about yourself for doing what you love and you will feel a new sense of empowerment in every aspect of your life.

2. People will respect you for simply attempting the feat. People like talking to ambitious, inspirational people and if you are chasing (and I mean really chasing and not just dreaming) you are one of those people. The added bonus? Interest creates more conversation and more conversation creates more opportunities.

3. On a more personal and unique level, chasing dreams means that I will inevitably come to a point where I will be tested. My nerve will be tested. My strength will be tested. And my preparation questioned. In essence, this is the feeling I have as I step out onto the track. I don’t know about you, but I crave that feeling. The moment when you are given the opportunity to take what you believe is yours is what drives me, both on and off the track.

So, think about what it is that you want to achieve. Throw yourself at it. Live life on the edge. Inspire people. And feel the differences it creates within you.

Everyone has an excuse.

I have brain damage and I'm still here kicking and chasing dreams.

What's your excuse?

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