So, before writing this, I tasked Faye to construct a blog about motivation. I wanted to know what motivated her to start down the path she took, what pushed her to the success she has had so far, and what continues to drive her to continue. I asked her to do this for me because of the place she is in with her life, and the personal struggles she has overcome.

When she submitted her draft to me, I was really taken in by how personal and “real” it was. After reading it, it automatically made me think of “Fear”. In that, I mean our own personal fears.

With this in mind, I think of a scene from one of my favourite films “Coach Carter”. Coach Carter (Samuel L Jackson) had previously asked a troubled Rick Gonzalez (Timo Cruz), “What Is Your Deepest Fear?”. Later in the film, Rick stands up in an audience of his peers, and recites the following:

“What is our deepest fear? Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.

This is one of my most favourite statements. It always reminds me of my own fears, of which are very personal to me. I have never disclosed these feeling to anyone before, as I have always felt they are too deep to share.

Before I go into what my deepest fears are, I want to give you a little background about myself.

Until I was 11 I lived with my mum on the Isle Of White, who was a chronic alcoholic. To say we were poor would be a discredit to our situation. Due to these, and several other, circumstance, I was placed on the “at rick” list with Social Services.

At weekends, and school holidays, I would travel to the main land to stay with my dad. My dad was my best friend, but not in a position to intervene. The 80’s, and 90’s were a very different time in respect to child welfare.

In 1994 I suffered an asthma attack which hospitalised me for about a week. My dad travelled from the main land to be with me, and the hospital gave him a bed so that he could stay by my side. Because of my home situation, and events that occurred during my stay in hospital, my dad was was given custody of me.

As I grew up my dad took me to play rugby at a local rugby club in Gillingham, called North Dorset RUFC. I was pretty average until I was about 15, when I was given the opportunity to play for Bath U16s. I developed massively during my time at Bath, until I dislocated my hip at 17 in a collapsed scrum, playing against Ebbw Vale colts.

I was devastated, and thought that was the end of my career. Once again, dad came to my rescue, and found me a physio that got me back playing within 6 weeks! I went on to play semi-professional Rugby Union, and League until I was about 24, when my Eldest daughter Bethany was born.

Shortly before she was born, my dad sadly died. I was heart-broken. I had lost my best friend, the man that had saved my life, and to add insult to injury, he was taken only 4 months before his first grandchild was born. This was the hardest thing I had ever had to deal with, and still is to this day.

This bring me to the realisation of my deepest fear. With everything my dad had done for me, for all the money he had spent on making things accessible and possible for me, and the endless hours ferrying me to training and games. And most importantly, for saving my life, and giving me a future.

My deepest fear,

My deepest fear, is a fear that I wouldn’t make my dad proud!

Everything I do, I do with the voice in my head asking me, “would this make him proud?”. And in some situations, “would he be disappointed in me?”.

I was destined to have a life of poverty, and to fade into the background until his intervention.

He gave me a life that I never thought possible. A life I didn’t deserve.

As I write this, I really find it hard to hold back the tears. I’m a big, rough tough ex rugby player, and current strength athlete right!! And that’s why I’ve never told this to anyone, it’s very personal to me.

I will not look back on my life, and look at an average existence. I was born into a life that had no future, but was given the opportunity to change that, and prove the world that I could make something of nothing. And I owe it all to my best friend.

Andy Champ – 20th May 2017

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