StandwithStanThankfully I have been suffering a slump.

“That’s ridiculous!” you say. “How can anyone be thankful for playing like a horse’s butt?”

Well I am and the reason for me being thankful is that I have timed my slump perfectly.

With the huge gap in the Sunshine Tour and having played dreadfully since the Tour School at the beginning of the year, it appears as my slump is coming to an end and I’m starting to post some decent scores whilst playing amongst my mates.

Michael and Stan
Michael and Stan

A new swing, improved putting stroke and most of all a new attitude will see me playing a few tournaments with new gusto before Christmas.

The most important factor is attitude and Theo Bezuidenhout opened my can of worms as to the fact that I need to change the way I think.  Easy to grasp, but hard to implement and change was seeming to be tough, until I met an “inspirer” who walks the talk and has convinced me to pursue life and challenges with new vigour.

Enter Stan Andrews!

I had the privilege of assisting with the fundraising and entertainment of the Stand with Stan Golf Day and met a fella who could even inspire JZ to pay back the money if he had half an hour to spare.

So who is Stan? Well that question will answer itself come the end of September after the World Triathlon Champs in Chicago where he will be competing for the second most sought after medal in the sport.  The opportunity for the Holy Grail comes next year at the 2016 Para-Olympics where ‘triathlon’ will be introduced for the very first time.

So “para” as in disabled?

No!  Only disabled to those who think that way!

This is a guy who decided to turn his ‘disability’ into a lesson for others and a way to help those less fortunate than himself by raising funds to provide quality prosthetics to them so that they too can become soldiers in his army.

So how has this guy made a difference in my life you may ask, other than the fact that what he has done and is striving to do is “impressive”?

Well, he told me the secret to his motivation and I’m allowed to share it with those that care to browse this column on a monthly basis.  It’s a life-changing recipe for improvement and self-realisation… the answer to what everyone has been looking for … the secret to success …

Okay, maybe not, but it can’t hurt to commit to the formula, which I will share shortly, but first a little about Stan to lay the foundation.

Born with a deformed right foot, Stan and his family agreed with specialists, and his lower right leg was amputated at the age of seven to allow him the ability to participate in sports and be an active kid with the use of a prosthetic leg.

He played a number of sports including soccer, tennis and of course golf … otherwise I wouldn’t even bother writing about him!

He was a cocky youngster who later became a steel salesman and armed himself with an air of confidence developed from the experience of having to lift his efforts a little more than those able-bodied kids around him.

In 2011, with no real sporting accomplishments behind his name other than the fact that he competed in the South African Disabled Golf Championship a few times, Stan awoke with a bee in his bonnet … the desire to do something amazing!

He’d read motivational books, served the sentence of trying dozens of strategies to no avail, so he decided to create his own formula:

He decided on a short-term goal, medium-term goal and a long-term goal.  (Aha, you’ve read this before.)

The difference was that he decided to tell at least five people whom he respected (and respected him) what they were so that they could become the critics, motivators, sceptics and custodians of the promises that he’d made to himself.  Let’s call them the BSM’s (bull**** minders).

So it was the Midmar Mile, the 94.7 Cycle Challenge and Kilimanjaro (in that order).

After surprisingly winning a competition called the Goliath Challenge this order changed and the long-term goal of climbing Kilimanjaro came first and there were no chances of backing out (he had the financial backing and the 5 BSM’s he had told of his goals ensured that he kept his word).

With Kili done, it was back to the other two goals to complete the collection and hold true to his commitment.

A lesson here is that you sometimes need to revise and review your goals, but never let up on them.

After that, new goals and commitments.

In January 2013 he founded Stand with Stan – “Providing quality prosthetics for disadvantaged amputees” – an NPO and all that good stuff, so now it came time to go to work on a quest for others!

He went to an international amputee conference in the States and hooked up with para-triathlete Levi Kane who convinced Stan to make triathlon his goal.

So the Ironman became the new objective until he met Kevin Garwood, who inspires millions with his Ironman accomplishments.  Google him.  It’s worth the bandwidth!

He’s the guy who tows his son through the entire race. He told Stan to dream bigger and get himself some Green & Gold for the 2016 Para-Olympics even before he had a chance to do the Ironman.

“Ironman’s come around annually.  Olympics … once in a lifetime.” he said.

So it was … the new long-term goal, the Para-Olympics, with the medium-term goal being to compete in the 2015 World Triathlon Championships and the short-term being to qualify for that.

Guess what?  He’s told more than just a few BSM’s about these and he’s well on his way.

The World Champs are in September and this guy who used to run like he was leaning back in a Lazyboy and confessed to me that he nearly drowned when he first swum the Midmar Mile in 2012 is now a finely-tuned, single-bladed athletic machine … with the help of a few top coaches … and the BSM’s!

So I’m going to publish my short, medium and long-term goals next month and am inviting you to be my BSM’s.

Thanks for the push Stan and all the best for the World Champs my friend and I love your cause.

If you want to contribute to Stan Andrews’ great initiative, Stand with Stan or need more details, the “one-legged legend” can be contacted on stan@standwithstan.co.za, browse his website www.standwithstan.co.za, Tweet him on @standwithstan or hunt him down on Facebook.

For feedback or any queries, please feel free to contact me on 0789051547 or email me on olddog@40yearoldrookie.co.za.

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