Our recent article about Flexibility clearly resonated with our good friend Mike McEwan. Mike called his reply "Perfect timing and thought". He went on to tell us this story about competing in the Commonwealth Veterans Fencing Championships (CVFC2016 ) ...
"I was 3-1 down at the end of the first period and said to one of my team-mates at the break that if I don't change and keep doing what I'm doing I'm going to lose. I changed, I was 9-8 ahead when time was called and that got me the Bronze! :)"
Fencing has drilled flexibility into Mike. He has been competing at a high level all his life, although his capacity was shaken a few years ago when he suffered a TIA (mini-stroke) during a competition. Despite this, he has worked hard to rehabilitate himself and to return to top-flight competition.
This year Mike travelled to New Zealand to take part in CVFC2016. In the Men's Foil Direct Elimination stage he was 3-1 down at the end of the first period and clearly something wasn't working for him. He spoke to one of his team-mates at the break saying "if I don't change and I keep doing what I'm doing I'm going to lose".
Mind and body are linked: change one and you'll change the other
When he started again after the break, Mike had changed his mind-set, and changed his tactics too - with astonishing results. He managed to turn it around and ended up 9-8 ahead when time was called. He had expected to lose before he acted flexibly, and instead he won the Bronze medal.
And Mike's flexibility didn't end there. There are three different disciplines in the sport of fencing - Foil, Sabre and Epee - each with its own skills and techniques. Mike is a Foil specialist, and doesn't fence sabre at all.
Three basic moves plus a whole lotta flexibility
Just before the Team Sabre competition was due to start, the Scottish team were one man down. The team captain approached Mike and asked him to make up the numbers. Five minutes before the start, the team captain taught Mike 3 basic Sabre moves.
With Mike's lifetime of fencing discipline, these three basic moves plus Mike's inate belief in the power of flexibility gave him a working foundation from which he could adapt and change to suit the individual bouts. Winning many points and some matches, Mike's contribution helped Team Scotland to make it onto the podium, and Mike's second Bronze medal of the Championships.
And what about you?
What can you do to be more flexible?
How can you build on your existing skills and talents to be successful in a different discipline?
If you want to develop your own flexibility, and discover new approaches, then why not join us either in Edinburgh for an NLP Diploma, or in sunny Fuerteventura for Illuminating Your Future: a 4-day Personal Development Retreat in Fuerteventura.
About Madeleine Allen: The author is a specialist in Leadership, Communication and Personal Development for business professionals. An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.nlpedinburgh.co.uk)
Bright Light NLP
Hello, we are Madeleine and Phil, and we want to help illuminate your future, so you can be the best you can be.