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The exploits of Usain Bolt are for generations, and the man will go down as someone who changed the sprint sports. The story of Usain Bolt is folklore for times immemorial. The ultimate sports champ and an alpha sprinter, Bolt reached an echelon not many even dream. 

The guy is a freak and a show stopper. If you’ve watched his races, you’ll understand. No wonder he named his kids Lightning Bolt and Thunder Bolt. Take that for the legacy and panache. I can see the smirk while deciding names for junior Bolt’s.

Take a sneak peek into the sheer mind-numbing numbers and records that tag along with Bolt.

#1- World record holder in 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4*100 meters relay.

#2- Eleven-time world champion.

#3- Eight-time Olympic gold medalist.

#4- Only sprinter ever to win 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, and 2016). 

#5- Improved his record of 9.69 seconds with 9.58 seconds which is the best-ever recorded time.

Usain Bolt is still known as the fastest man alive till some other freak of a guy shows up and challenges it. Bolt retired in 2017 but still holds the world record for both 100 m and 200 m sprints achieved in 2009 at the Berlin world championship. 

Have you witnessed the perfect athlete ever?

No, far from it. Usain Bolt ended his final race in excruciating pain. The big Jamaican crumpled to the track while chasing a gold medal for the 400-meter relay team. Moreover, he also sustained a left leg injury. It was the first injury for Bolt in a major world competition. 

The race will go down as an anti-climax for the fabled sprinter. So much for a golden farewell.

Bolt is human, after all, and that makes it even more special. To witness an athlete dominate the world stage in an emphatic way over so many years is a testimony to the sheer brilliance.

On August 24, 2004, a little-known Polish athlete Marcin Jedrusinski, then 22, defeated Usain Bolt in Athens. Bolt was then the world junior champion. Athens hosted the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, and all eyes were on Bolt for the 200 meters. 

Barely after a few seconds, the Jamaican was out as he finished 5th, and it was Marcin Jedrusinski emerging as the winner of the heat.

“At the time, I never thought I had beaten someone big,” Jedrusinski relives to Eurosport. “Bolt was a sprinter who already ran under 20 seconds, but he was not yet world-class, and to be fair, I was keeping an eye on the other sprinters.

Even the greatest and legends need help at some point. Glen Wills, who took Bolt under his wings at the end of 2004, unraveled the beast and Bolt’s potential. He transformed his technique and work ethic, giving rise to sports’ ultimate sprinter.

Bolt and the mental side of a physical sport

The world witnesses the raw force coming through the legs and upper body of sprinters. It looks brute and physical. It is like unleashing some sonic boom through your body to dash towards the finishing line.

Sprinting isn’t just the physical sport, says Bolt. It is as mental as it is about physicality.

It is 50/50, Bolt says. If you are not mentally up for the race, the race is already lost. You win on the track once you win it inside your head. All the physical fitness and training complements the right mental frame.

For Bolt, it is about not getting inside his head. The more that happens, the more mistakes on the track. 

“When you get inside your head, you start thinking about your weaknesses and issues,” Bolt says.

For Bolt, his weakness is the start and getting off the blocks quickly. Perhaps, thinking about the race till the last moment brings anxiety. Once you overthink something, doubt creeps in. A relaxed mind brings clarity and success.

“I tend to randomly think about anything else but the race” at the track, he says. 

“I think about playing video games or what I might eat after the race.” Sometimes he also thinks about the ways of celebration if he wins, he says.

The idea is to distract before the big race because you have no time when it starts. It goes into the flow state when it begins. The preparation and distraction have to happen before the race.

Success is about a flow state, an optimal state of consciousness. Often, we’ve heard stories of perfect flow state and how it helped someone. It is the sense of oneness with the task at hand. The process and you become one. There is no fear or distraction, just you.

The flow state is an absolute state of bliss. The time stops, and you find the optimum life. 

Glen Miles, the coach, also attributes his success to his love of running.

“I enjoy the process. I have fun while doing it. Yes, it is work, but for me, it wasn’t ‘work,’” Bolt says.

The key takeaways

Even the most revered people and athletes keep it simple when it comes to success. Basic practices defining life, work everywhere. Yes, you have to put extraordinary efforts into accomplishing great heights, and the right mental frame helps your cause. 

Soaking the pressure through distraction tactics is the highest form of trickery that your mind can play. If only we learn that Usain Bolt loves to perform under pressure.

Bolt keeps it simple on the track. He goes, he runs, and he wins. All this with a relaxed head and optimum flow state.

Belief. Carry it like a badge. You can only be at ease knowing you have years of effort below your belt. The mental aspect takes over once you have the work to count on. 

Unleashing the flow state or the optimum level. It comes from repetition and efforts over a period. While victory looks perfect, years of slog and hustle make it possible. Everything stems from efforts that went in the background.

Also read Don’t Throw in Your Towel Yet. Instead, Kill the Self-Doubt