A Fork in the Road

When I began my journey at the beginning of 2010 towards my 5th Olympic Games I was so excited and nervous, but many things were unknown. So I began by making some plans, where would I train, who would I play with, who would coach us? I filled my toolbox with all the tools I thought I would need along the way and even had to learn some new ones so that I could be ready for what lay ahead. I traversed the path many times in my mind to ensure I would be equipped with everything I needed. I even had back up plans incase I encountered a detour or 2.  How often in your experience is that exact path you imagined ever walked? Being flexible, adaptable and ready to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal are key tools to have in your tool box. I think I am a good problem solver and this has been a vital part in my success strategy.

”There is nothing permanent except change.” – Anonymous

So mid way through 2011 I reached a fork in the road. One that I knew may or may not present itself. A choice to make about the partnership between and Tara and I. Do I stay with it or make a move to play with Tamsin again.
Dr Jeff Spencer (crucial part of Lance Armstrong’s Tour De France 8 time winning team) said to me once, “winning is a mathematical equation, it has to stack up.” If one part of the equation is out then it will not work. There was one thing on the team I was in that didn’t stack up from the beginning, but I was willing to stay in the game and be open for miracle. The thing that was against Tara and I was TIME! The critical factor for a new combination working on a goal the size of an Olympic Gold medal. We (and more so Tara) were literally thrown in the deep end.

The maths just did not add up, the results needed to qualify for the Olympics were not coming for my team or for Tamsin’s team, so the opportunity presented itself and we took it.

I decided to return to the tried and tested partnership with Tamsin Hinchley (nee Barnett). We had originally gone our separate ways after an ordinary year in 2010 and many factors working against us. But now the time was right. We have a strengthened resolve, a new found desire and know what it takes to be the best. As best said by Napoleon Hill, “There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

So now you can look out for the new combo of COOK/HINCHLEY 2.0.

We will still battle time, however the odds have now shortened and I’m excited about the year ahead. Stay tuned to the updates and if you would like to follow the results more closely go to www.fivb.org and look for the Swatch FIVB World Tour. You may need to spend some time working out how to use the site, but once you do you can see all the scores and  pictures from every event.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Anonymous

And so the new ending begins!

At the time of posting, Tam and I took a 5th place finish in Canada, playing some great volleyball and beating a top ranked Brasilian and USA team. We had to withdraw from the event to get to the next one in Poland on time and because of my troubled knee. Keep your fingers crossed we can hold it all together and get our much need Olympic Qualification points! Stay tuned.


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