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Offline Socapro

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The Mikel Thomas Thread
« on: June 03, 2015, 12:33:37 PM »
Persistent Pursuit of Progression
An Interview with Mikel Thomas

Posted on June 2, 2015 Updated on June 2, 2015 (AbigailIrozuru.wordpress.com)


Mikel trains at the World Athletics Center, Phoenix

Stats:
 
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
 
Discipline: 110m Hurdles
 
Noteworthy Accolades: 2x Olympian, National Record Holder
 
Current World Ranking: 11th
 
Highest World Ranking: 5th
 
SB: 13.32seconds
 
PB: 13.19seconds


Persistent Pursuit of Progression
 
Defining success as the ‘persistent pursuit of progression’, Mikel has ‘never been afraid to dream’. Whilst a lot of us – myself included, at times – make our goals too realistic, Mikel calmly and boldly states: ‘the goal is to go as fast as humanly possible’.
 
And to do this, Mikel stands by his best success habit: ‘consistency before the breakthrough’.

This strategy has served him well in the past, and continues to do so now. Consistency ranks amongst the six key components that led to his lifetime best performance in 2013, the rest being: trust (in the training program), self-belief, grit and determination, focus on the KPIs, and going ‘blank’.
 
‘I knew I was ready to do something…’ (Self-belief)
 
He didn’t ‘overthink or overload’, ‘committed to one or two cues’ (KPIs), and experienced a relaxed flow state (going blank).
 
‘Walking back I heard it was 13.19 and I just went nuts.’
 
He completely ‘dashed everything…against the line’ (grit) and walked away with a well-deserved PB time.


Mikel setting up his own camera during our interview. Life may be up and down, but he remains at peace through it all.

But not every race can be ‘smooth, easy, cake, butter’ (Mikel’s own words for his PB performance)! Yet, knowing this, how many of us allow our bad competitions to affect us to the point of exhaustion, and even depression? These feelings are heightened when bad races are analysed in slow-motion, torn apart and each component exposed for its inadequacies.
 
Allowing yourself to be defined by each race can be an emotional rollercoaster. ‘I got tired of that. There’s no stability in that.’
 
It is not only athletes who suffer from identity crises when they fail. You can relate to this feeling if you have a bad test result at college, get passed up on a job promotion, or get laid-off from your dream job! Thankfully, defining himself ‘away from the sport’ and ‘learning to be content whether I am high or low,’ Mikel knows that external factors should not negatively influence his spirit and emotions. This is no surprise considering his favourite Bible verse at the moment is Proverbs 23:7, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he’.
 
On this pursuit of progression, bad races are not the only obstacle to his success.

‘Last year I was homeless’.


There is this illusion that an athlete at one time ranked as high as 5th in the world must be rolling in it. (Mikel at his first Olympics in Beijing 2008.).

Wow! I bet this was the last thing you expected to read, huh? This revelation certainly shocked me, anyway! Whilst appreciating that as athletes we are ‘fully committed to what we do’, he admits that he is justified to ‘expect a certain amount of fruit’. There is this illusion that an athlete at one time ranked as high as 5th in the world must be rolling in it. But this is often far from the truth! Although a short-term inconvenience, it was nonetheless a difficult reality at the time. And without adequate remuneration, stories like his will remain commonplace.
 
So why do you still hurdle?
 
Mikel attributes a lot of his accomplishments to his ‘stubborn relentlessness’, and admits that this same fire fuels him now, as well as the desire to inspire others ‘from the same hard circumstances as [himself]…to keep fighting and keep persisting.’
 
In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho talks about embracing each moment of your Personal Journey because that in itself is worthwhile…
 
Mikel has suffered a fractured clavicle (the pin is still there!) in 2009 – his biggest injury – but he has also visited some extraordinary places that he may not have had the chance to visit if he weren’t an athlete (perks)!


Once we realised Brasil was where we first met, we went for the high-five!

Switzerland and Brasil rank amongst his top two destinations. About Switzerland, he says: ‘There is something so majestic about summertime where you’re near a lake and you can still see snow on the caps of the mountain’. And having already experienced Brasil’s vibrancy, he is ready to be there in 2016! ‘I love everything from capoeira to fried cheese to samba.’ (Personally, the caipirinhia’s and Flash Dance gym styles were my favourite discovery.)
 
And he has also had the opportunity to inspire greatness in others, coaching two athletes to the Commonwealth Games – their first national vest – a ‘heartfelt moment’ that he unsurprisingly labels his ‘biggest accomplishment so far’.
 
What’s next?
 
‘I’m on the right path, I just have to stay the course’.

Mikel does not hold back when revealing his aims for the future, both on and off the track. Acknowledging that he has been graced with God-given ‘talents…bestowed to advance the kingdom,’ he believes that success is more than fast times, and continually glorifies God both in victory and defeat. He also has a heart for encouraging and guiding others, and knows that his journey does not end when he stops hurdling.
 
‘Away from the track, I would like to help change the culture of the sport….I would like to expand people’s mentality. I’ve always looked up to Muhammad Ali, and it’s not just about how dominant he was as an athlete, but also how much of a philanthropist and game-changer he was in society…he promoted his God in his own way, and I want to be able to do that.’
 
Maintaining that Ali audacity, Mikel states: ‘I don’t believe in working for second. If it was up to me, I would try to run the world record every time I step out on the track. I probably have the world record for 5’8 guy hurdler!’ Now if this isn’t an example of boldly stepping into your future, I do not know what is! I only wish to be able to claim and believe in my success with such audacious ease. How about you?


Mid-interview funny faces! Laughter is good for the soul, guys!  :)

Follow Mikel on Twitter @Mikel_Thomas & like his Facebook page.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 02:52:59 PM by Socapro »
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline Socapro

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Re: The Mikel Thomas Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 11:25:43 AM »
I've got some updates to make to this thread! Will do later!
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline Socapro

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Series 16: Mikel Thomas
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 02:49:00 PM »
Series 16: Mikel Thomas
FEBRUARY 25TH, 2016 • NEWS, PRESS RELEASE • ANDREAS BEHM, MIKEL THOMAS, SERIES 16
Written by Peter Simmons (@peteman82), ALTIS Brand Lead & MD of 5or6 Design & Branding


Mikel Thomas

This week the spotlight turns to Mikel Thomas – National Record holder for Trinidad & Tobago in the 110m Hurdles.

Following his most successful year to date – which saw the 28 year old claim silver at the Pan Americans, and gold at the NACAC Championships – 2016 has success firmly on the agenda.

“Last year, I was able to have a phenomenal year, but not perfect,” reflected Mikel, a graduate from the University of Kentucky. “I’m just going to clean up the areas I fell short this year and really make sure that I’ll be able to give our best performance every time I step on the track.”



“We have many steps along the way and consistency of course is the main thing.”
“Pan Am will always be special to me, as it’s my first international medal.”

“There was a lot of emotion there, family was there, Toronto was close to my family – who immigrated to New York City, so it was the first time that they were able to see me represent T&T on the international level. To share that with them also made that medal very special.”

“NACAC was special as it was the first time I was expected to win – so it was the first time I had to deal with those pressures of having to perform. At Pan Am I was underdog, but at NACAC press back home was pretty much saying ‘what is Mikel going to do now’ – so it was a good test for me mentally to see if I could perform when the pressure is on … it was a special one for me. There’s nothing like bringing home gold and a record.”

The 28 year old is now firmly focused on making the changes necessary to move towards global success in Rio:

“We definitely have a big year with the World Indoor Championships and Olympics. There’s no regional championships so I’m just focusing on the major stages.”

“We have many steps along the way and consistency of course is the main thing. Maintaining your health is a key part of that, once you’re healthy you are able to perform a great deal.”



“I’ve learned that all I need to do at a track meet is be the same person that I am at practice.”
“The next stage is spiritual or mental health as well, this year I definitely have a lot more confidence and composure. I’ve learned that all I need to do at a track meet is be the same person that I am at practice. Being able to have that mental fortitude moving into competition means I’m pretty calm and clear.”

“At training I bring a bunch of energy, then at a track meet I do the same thing, so I’ve learnt what atmosphere works for me mentally, then of course the upkeep of me physically has allowed me to become more consistent.”

“I’ve learned it’s better for me to chase execution rather than chase a particular result. I feel like if I was ever to properly execute a race, I don’t think anybody would be able to beat me.”



“I’ve learned it’s better for me to chase execution rather than chase a particular result.”
“Execution is my main forte, for that I realize the reward itself with take care of itself.”

To keep up to date with Mikel’s progress, give him a follow on Twitter or Facebook.

Links: https://www.facebook.com/mikel.thomas1, https://www.facebook.com/MikelThomas110, https://twitter.com/Mikel_Thomas
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 02:57:15 PM by Socapro »
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline Socapro

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Re: The Mikel Thomas Thread
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 03:39:03 PM »
Mikel Thomas in 60mH action this weekend!

ALTIS
‏@ALTISworld
Hurdler @Mikel_Thomas ties PR in 60h with a 7.69 at Ocean Breeze Meet in NYC.

Click link to view race video: https://twitter.com/ALTISworld/status/703732548799627264

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Official results: http://oceanbreezenyc.org/sports/2016/2/27/fastrack-last-chance-meet.aspx

Men 60 Meter Hurdles Invite
================================================================================
    Name                    Year School               Prelims     Finals  Points
================================================================================
Finals
  1       Thomas, Mikel          Altis/Trinid            7.79       7.69 
  2       Lovett, Eddie          ISV                     7.73       7.71 
  3       Sosa, Ramon            Dominican Re            7.85       7.84 
  4       Forbes, Ronald         tru fit athl            7.81       7.85 
  5       Richards, Brian        Shore AC                7.85       7.95 
  6       Ruff, Dwight           Zenith Veloc            7.95       8.00 
  7       Williamson, Mikhai     Shore Road S            7.93       8.03 
  8       Benjamin, David        Rowan                   8.02       8.14 
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 03:57:38 AM by Socapro »
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)

Offline E-man

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Re: The Mikel Thomas Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 05:39:03 PM »
Mikel Thomas and autonomous drones by Skydio

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/YJMQq6VPJVo" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/YJMQq6VPJVo</a>

(They're hiring btw https://angel.co/skydio/jobs)

Offline Deeks

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Re: The Mikel Thomas Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 09:09:00 PM »
Cool!

Offline Socapro

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Re: The Mikel Thomas Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 02:34:01 AM »
 :beermug:
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)