Yesterday I was talking with Victoria Humphries (nee Riches) who in 1998 with her mother formed part of the first all-female team to walk to the North Pole. ‘Apparently,’ she said, ‘if Scotthad taken 10 extra steps a day, he would have got to the South Pole ahead of Amundsen.’

We’re not sure if this is truth or myth, but the principle stands.

Sir Clive Woodward gives motivational talks based on his experience of striving for sporting excellence. He cites an example of finding that something extra – he heard of eyeball exercises, the idea being that with training the eyes can be made more responsive and more able to, for example, track a fast-moving rugby ball. So in addition to training legs, arms, back and chest, he had his players training their eye muscles. Did it make the difference between success and failure? Who knows for sure? But if it helped engender a BELIEF that they were the better prepared team, and a CONFIDENCE that they would win, it must have been a contributing factor.

Note to self to remember importance of this. Fortunately Victoria’s message of support will keep reminding me.

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