John Register: Part 1
On this episode of Pro Mindset® Podcast, Olympic hopeful and track star John Register joins host Craig Domann to share his experiences running track at the University of Arkansas and his journey chasing his vision of competing in the hurdles in the 1996 Olympics. After college, John joined the US Army's world-class Olympic program. This allowed athletes to train up to three years before the Olympic Games and to get compensated for training as a member of the US Army. His training plan was interrupted by the Gulf War as he was deployed overseas. When he returned to the US, he experimented with the 400-meter hurdles. A vision of competing in the 1996 Olympics began to form. While he was competing in a track meet leading up to the Olympic Trials, he severely injured himself. Not only did this injury end his career, but it also led to a defining moment in his life. John's inspiring story will change the way you look at life's trials and challenges.
“You have to think about that day and what you want to accomplish that day. Think about mini-goals that you want to accomplish so that you can be ready in four years. If the Olympians and Paralympians are training four years from today, they've already lost the gold medal.”
John explains how an Olympic hopeful athlete must focus on each day at a time and not look too far ahead. You must think about what you want to accomplish in the 24-hours ahead of you and not the next four years ahead of you. Focus on the small goals that will eventually lead up to your ultimate goal. Thinking too far forward is mentally draining and will distract you from your daily training.
“The vision is only for you and other people can kind of help support you to it, but they can't see it for you. You can't transfer a vision to somebody else. The vision is yours.”
When John decided he wanted to compete in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, a vision formed in his mind. He could visualize himself standing on a podium and receiving a medal. John explains that a vision is a huge component in your journey as an athlete. Others will not understand your vision because they cannot see it as you see it. It's important not to be careless with your vision by sharing it with others. They can encourage you in your vision, but they cannot reach it for you.
“Dr. Mullen says to me, ‘You have a tough choice to make, you can keep your leg, use a walker or wheelchair for the rest of life, or I can amputate your leg, and you can use a prosthesis for the rest of your life.’"
While competing in a track meet on a windy day in Hays, Kansas, John severely injured his left leg. After his doctor assessed the situation, he gave John two options. Either option would completely alter John's life and his Olympic goals. In Part 2 of Pro Mindset Podcast, John will talk about the hard choice he made, why he chose it, and how it changed the course of his life.