Paddy Upton

The Covid Gift

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I recently recovered from my inevitable bout of Covid. A friend sent me a message soon after and asked,

“So, what gift did Covid give you?”

“Gift, are you f#*king joking?” I thought. Two weeks sick, alone in a home by myself, and at least 4 weeks after of little or no exercise or surfing. Where’s the gift in that?

Then it hit me. How blind I had been. There were at least three amazing gifts that my pre-conditioned mind of ‘I’m sick, which is not fun’ did not see.

The first gift was yet another reminder of how mindset influences our life experience. I was so busy looking at the negative impacts of Covid that I did not see the gifts right under my nose. Until I was thankfully prodded by my friend.

The second gift was an old university mate, Pulmonologist Dr. Sean Rogers. When my blood oxygen levels dropped into the 80’s and temperature soared into the 40’s, this very busy pulmonologist did not hesitate to message me,

‘Come see me boet (brother), I’ll sort you out’.

He took me under his wing and continued to phone me twice a day for two weeks. Knowing I had a genuinely caring expert in my corner, someone who really had my back, gave me the confidence to face whatever was thrown at me. I was sick, but my fears abated. If life, knowing you have someone in your corner, fully backing you, is a real gift. Thanks boet.

The third gift was time. For years I have been wanting to consolidate the best of my mental coaching work in sport, into a gold standard course for elite and near elite athletes. I’ve been so busy coaching, speaking and consulting that this has remained a want. Until Covid gifted me 14 days of lying in bed. Those two weeks, plus the two that followed gave me the over 200 hours to dedicate to writing, what I’m confident will be, one of the most comprehensive mental game courses ever written for athletes. The result is a 24-module deep dive into personal mastery, professional mastery and the mental game, of sport and life.

Covid and its impacts have been a bitch, and in many cases a gift. I just needed to look up and see this.


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