BBC News: World Championships 2017: Usain Bolt beaten by Justin Gatlin in 100m final

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

World Championships 2017: Usain Bolt beaten by Justin Gatlin in 100m final – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/40839202

I can’t help but feel that I saw this coming. I also can’t help but feel that this could have been avoided, had Usain Bolt focused more on his performance on the track, leaving his celebrity side until after the games. Sadly, I see a certain amount of complacency in this race, which will always be, to most, a loss for Bolt and not a win for Gatlin.

Bolt’s final race will be on Saturday, in the 4x100m. I can see Jamaica winning gold in that one but I don’t see it being a walk in the park, or even a certainty. This time, it is going to take work and not talent.

I wish Usain Bolt all the best in his post-race endeavours. He has brought good times and a good story of athletic development to the questionable sport of sprinting. From the gangly youth he once was to the athlete he is today, he has done himself, Jamaica and the sport proud.

Best of all, he has left a lot of us asking, How fast could he actually have run? It’s both tantalizing and unfortunate that we’ll never know.

Usain Bolt, sir. Up! *tilts hat*

@geminidimension

Athletics Weekly Article on Dwain Chambers. August 2nd 2017.

You can find the article HERE.

I think the subject still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of some athletes but I’m definitely a proponent of change and I think everyone, regardless of their wrongs, should be afforded the time and opportunity to change. Dwain Chambers, in my mind, has used that time and opportunity well, and wisely, with a constant smile.

Picture Credit to Mark Shearman 2014.

@geminidimension

Being a Jack of All Trades Makes You a Master of None: Back on the Track!

When I arrived at The College of New Jersey 29th April 2017, there was this feeling of being home. Not physically but, rather, emotionally and psychologically. I hadn’t competed on a track in over 3 years but you can never remove the passion from a man. It’s what we are, not what we do. I was back in a familiar groove and, as I heard the starter’s pistol stir the crowds into applause and cheer, I parked my car, amid the lack of focus from the adrenaline rush surging through me. I felt like I was about to park my car and step into a street fight!

In my 3 year vacation from track competition, forced by lack of good training facilities and an inability to find a team, I’d put my hand to other things, in the hope of finding the right spark to ignite the same passion I have for track and field. Nothing quite cut it, though. Weightlifting, obstacle course racing, triathlons. They all felt limited. I always felt that there was a ceiling I couldn’t push beyond. Not because they are limited in their own right but because they just aren’t linked to my passion. When I was up at 5am, running through the township of Mount Holly, New Jersey, for the sake of performing at a Spartan Race, it all felt so forced and against the struggle. When I was out at 5am, though, picturing myself in a 400m Hurdles race, it was different. It felt natural. It felt like I was supposed to be doing it. There was a distinct revelation that I need to get back in my lane and not just stay in it but MASTER it.

It was a balmy day. Slightly overcast but hot, with little wind. In essence, this was a great day to be a sprinter.
My legs felt like jelly as I slowly jogged around the astro turf soccer field, carrying out little drills to shake the 30mins drive out of my legs. Looking around, I could see athletes of all abilities and ages. There were a few elite athletes having an early-season run, from Trinidad and Jamaica. There were exceptional High School and College athletes, along with the grass roots athletes and people like myself. Coming back to competition after varying lengths of hiatus. The jelly-like feeling in my legs increased, alongside the intensity of the butterflies that fluttered inside, sending me into a familiar euphoric trance, similar to tunnel vision.

My skin began to moisten and I could feel my muscles beginning to lengthen as the temperature, inside, went up a notch. It’s a good feeling to know that you are really ready to perform.

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Amid the readiness, my heightened senses noticed the overall tightness of my body, a lack of flexibility in my hips and hamstrings. My neck still ached, having jarred it a few days prior while I slept. I reminded myself that I had next to no sleep the night before and how I’d struggled to eat that morning. Doubt was making it’s usual rounds. But this was a day for me. I’d been here before and knew that all I had to do was rely on myself and the training I’d put in prior to this moment. Doubt is merely an antithesis of Faith. A ‘faith’ against your Faith. It’s a choice as to which one prevails. I chose Faith and stayed in the lane I have chosen to master as I walked to the tent to collect the number for my hip. As, around me, I heard a lot of talk and clamour of people doubting themselves, I stayed silent, resolute, disallowed myself to get into conversation with anyone and only allowed the ‘nod’ when greeted and smiled at. I’m a different person when I’m mastering the lane I occupy.

I was in the 7th heat. Something I was ready for but not fond of. It meant standing in the heat, running the risk of coming off the boil and getting wrapped up in the races of others. I just took myself to the 200m start and continued some dynamic stretching and starts, to keep my fast-twitch fibres on point. On the other side of the track, the starter’s pistol would fire and invoke a surge of adrenaline every time. I can’t even lie. I LOVED it and began to feel confident in the fact that I’d perform that day. Sub-consciously, I counted the heats and, after the 5th one set off, I strolled around the bend with my game face and, by the time I got to the 100m start, it was time to set up my blocks.

I smiled slightly when the starter called us to our marks. There was the familiar air of ego that wafted along the start line, as the athletes around me took a lifetime to steady themselves, carry out a few high-knees and shake out legs that didn’t really need to be shaken out. Me? I was too ready for this moment. I shot out of the blocks twice to check my positioning and feel for glitches and then asked the man in the heat behind me to hold my blocks steady. They were gonna need to be held because I aimed to push them into the day before!

From the ‘set’ position, my mind drew a blank. It turned introvert as I became a pilot, carrying out final checks on this machine that was about to be called into overdrive for the first time in a long time. Feet firmly in the blocks. Shoulders slightly ahead of the wrist. Focus, slightly toward the feet, to keep my drive low (Need to work on this, actually!). Finally, I felt the surge of adrenaline shoot through me as I anticipated the gun. It’s moments like these, when you are mastering your lane, that you live for and thrive on. I can’t overstate how much I missed it.

The gun went and I wasn’t too aware of what was happening until the wind started rushing through my hair. For a moment, though, I drove from being one of the last out of the blocks to the front before I tightened up and was run down to eventual third. In the moment, far from one of my best performances. In perspective of the bigger picture and the journey I’m on, the race was respectable and the performance of note.

I definitely gave myself a good picture of where I’m at with my return to track and, specifically, the 400m hurdles. I have been eating right, sleeping right, hydrating, training right and aim to continue as I continue to master my lane.

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geminidimension

Finally! The Spark is Back!

Tomorrow, 29th April 2017, I have my first track competition in 3 years!

Not far from where I’ll be competing, the Penn Relays will be taking place so there isn’t any chance of lining up next to world class competition. Indeed, it has only been several weeks since coming back to track and field with any intention of competing consistently. What matters, though, is that I can feel that old spark inside that couldn’t care less about who I line up next to. I’m in this space that I find familiar, where nothing and nobody matter. I’m currently living in that timeless moment between “On your marks” and the sound of a starter’s pistol. It’s a place I love and a place I’ve missed.

I’m not sure what to expect tomorrow. The 100m and 200m aren’t my regular distance and, for the first time in a long time, the 200m will be a tactical race, as opposed to a get out and go sprint. But I’ve prepared for this as best I can. Sleeping right (although I’ll struggle tonight, I’m sure!), eating right, hydrating. Tomorrow may not be Darren of 2005 but it will be the same spirit. Of that, I’m certain.

It’s amazing that, with age comes wisdom and a different approach to things. When I was 25, I’d be thinking of the day and the occasion. Now, at the age of 36, I’m thinking of correct departure from the blocks. The extension of my hips. I’m thinking of about holding my form. I’m thinking of maintaining hip height so I can ‘catapult’ out of the turn in the 200m.

I’ve not bragged, boasted or shared with everyone the work and commitment that has brought me here. Maybe it’ll be spoken of over time. But I’m loving this familiar zone. Right now, I feel like the prodigal son and I’m thankful for this moment.

geminidimension

R.I.P. John Sullivan: 300m Reps Will Never Be The Same!

I can still hear John’s voice resonating across Mile End’s floodlit track, on winter nights. “Ho!” would be the cry, signalling ANOTHER 300m repetition. The group would lurch forwards to speed, assuming a human steam train, as it hurtled through the night, heavy breathing becoming condensation, pluming into the cold air. “Right through!” would signal the end of every repetition, followed by his trademark chuckle and smile. I think I only saw him angry once.
John was easily recognized. Aside of the trademark smile, his pure white hair was never out of place and he was probably the ONLY man to carry fresh-pressed corduroy pants into the year 2000! Along with his everlasting stopwatches and small bounce, when he joked with his athletes, a key part of UK Athletics has disappeared. Judging from the many pleasant comments I’ve seen, and based on what I know of him personally, however, this disappearance is only in body. It’s very clear that his legacy and many pleasant memories still live on. To coin the statement of a good friend of mine, “300m reps, on 60s recovery will never be the same!”

John Sullivan, sir, salute.

Back On Track!

This week, I signed up for my new track team, the Garden State Track Club, and this morning was my first training session with them. I’m BRIMMING with excitement!

I hadn’t trained in a competitive group since leaving the UK in January of 2012 so I was definitely rusty, especially getting out at the start of runs, but it was good to be in the mix of like-minded athletes and pulled along by guys that are a lot more on point.

It was a cold morning at Highland Park High School, with the temperature down in the 20s, but it was good to slip straight back into that winter training groove that I know so well. I had missed it! I felt at home, which is something I wasn’t able to find when I tried to establish myself as an Obstacle Course athlete. I speak about this in a previous blog, where I discuss how everything isn’t for everybody.
It was pleasant to hear small jokes and laughter, as we went through some dynamic stretching and mobility, where I quickly discovered that my hip joints and muscles probably demonstrated rustic pulleys on a pirate ship in stormy seas, as opposed to someone wanting to return to the world of track and field, with the intention of doing well in competition! LOL! Then we moved into some strides where my hamstrings and glutes responded with a “Wait… What?!” yawn, stretch and struggle! They woke up, though – eventually!

Today’s session was a time trial over the 300m, 200m and 100m. Yeah. Only I disappear from the track for a few years and turn up to day one for a session like this! But, guess what? The Winter Wizard is back!
There’s something sadistic about the 300m distance. You can pace a 400m and you can push a 200m but there’s something about the 300m that means you can only tackle it by exerting a lot of pressure and experiencing a lot of pain. On top of that, being rusty meant I didn’t get out as quick as the guys I was running with so, heading into the first bend, I lost a lot of ground but I felt strong. I even kicked into the back straight, holding on about 5m behind the two in front. Then we got to the top of the back straight and, with 50m to go, I thought, “Let me kick again.” My hamstrings, however, were screaming and my glutes had retired to the couch of my pelvic bone like Jabba the Hutt. I pretty much marched on the spot to the finish. With a respectful 41 seconds, though. The excitement of the time and the rush I just experienced, at being back at it, kept me bouncing around, waiting the 7 minutes for the 200m.

As a 400m hurdler, the 200m, regardless of the position you finish in, is very much so an “I’ve got this!” distance. It doesn’t require too much strategy. Focus on getting out the blocks and rely on that quarter-miler strength coming into the home straight. Today, I learned that it just doesn’t happen when you haven’t been on a track in so long. In fact, I felt like I was running backwards for the last 20m, as I came through in 25 seconds! If I hadn’t concentrated on keeping the hips high coming off the bend, I’d probably have just run into the ground, literally! I was ready for the 100m, though.

Every athlete knows what it is like to have heavy legs, where it feels like your feet just fall to the floor as you move into the next stride. However, there is a new level of comedy reached when there is zero generation of power behind produced behind the body. You may as well be running on a treadmill, angled at a decline! I felt ridiculous but did what I could to claw back the front-runners (This just doesn’t happen over 100m, though!), after they all got out like hares from traps. Only, they weren’t being chased down by greyhounds. More like Beethoven, the St. Bernard! LOL! This is the beginning, though…

I’m so happy to be back at it and I’m looking forward to spiking up to race again. I’m not sure when that’ll happen but definitely at some point this year, and probably over the 100m and 200m, with one or two outings over the 400m. Starting from scratch but, as I said, I’m BRIMMING with excitement!

Choices: Stuck in the Blocks from a Christian Perspective

My first attempt at a structured Bible Lesson.

At first, it was always seen as ‘the enemy’ robbing me of my blessing but now I see more clearly. Understanding that the Lord is, first and foremost, our father, I’m able to rationalize that my inability to reach the next level and, ultimately, my purpose, is because He sees that my decision-making has deemed me not ready to move up. I’m coming out of the blocks all wrong.

I see decisions we make to be the equivalent of exploding from the blocks, at the start of a 100m sprint. With every moment a decision made, the importance of getting it right is paramount. Cleaning up the mess of poor decisions and re-training our block-starts, in life, is hard and sometimes painful. Especially when we reach that point where poor choices are habitual.

Any sprinter will tell you, practicing your start takes hours and hours of finagling angles of the body’s joints and placement of the starting blocks. Why? Because exploding in a leap of faith, from a poorly placed foundation prevents you from performing to your fullest potential. Ultimately, it makes the difference between winning and losing, remembering that, in a 100m sprint, 2nd place is the first loser. No one takes to the starting line to lose.

I miss the rush of adrenaline that Track & Field brings. Preparing for the start is a powerful experience that you only really feel in individual sports, I find. There is no one to hide behind, no one to blame or bless for your performance. It’s just you and your preparation against the one thing nobody can cheat: Father Time.
As you warm up, you channel your adrenaline from fear to aggression. It’s time to impose, as opposed to being exposed. As you stride out and open your legs in preparation, they feel like jelly and your whole body becomes a computer, as every muscle fiber communicates with your brain. Sensitivity is on Level: 1000. In a few mins, it’ll all be over. Months, sometimes years, of practice have been undertaken in order to produce just a few seconds of perfection. You think back over the practice hours. The injuries overcome, sessions carried out in inclement weather, those times when it was just you and the rain. Ultimately, good athletes remind themselves why it is that there is no reason for them to finish second on this day. No one and nothing else matters.

When the moment arrives, you are called to your marks.

“Set!”
The position of commitment. Decision time…

In the Set position, for a small moment, you aren’t you. You are Preparation and Instinct. A human machine. Within a second, you calculate the finest of every detail.
You feel for good foot contact on each block. You feel for the angles of the hip joints to be just as you practiced. Not too great, not too small. There can be NO time spent working through a negative phase. Milliseconds count. Your poise brings your shoulders slightly forward of your wrist. It’s uncomfortable but you’ve practiced this. It comes with the territory. Then you focus on a speck of floor, a few inches above eye-level. Your heart beats through your chest, rapidly, pumping adrenaline through your body like high-octane fuel…

“BANG!”

Your entire being goes from zero to one hundred in a tenth of a second. The good foot contact ensures there is no sinking of the ankle, enabling every leg muscle to extend the hip, as over 3000 watts of power is sent through the starting blocks, propelling you towards the finish line.

Imagine if we realized that the choices we make, in our lives, were just as the moment described?
Whether it is a choice made on what to eat or a choice made on what career field you should be in, choices, large and granular, have put us where we are now.

I pondered my life the other day, in the best way I know how. I ran!
My 36th year, headed to my 40th, is going to be iconic but I’ve become aware of really poor choices I’ve made and have come to see how I’ve often moved in circles, facing the same choice over and over again. At first, it was always seen as ‘the enemy’ robbing me of my blessing but now I see more clearly. Understanding that the Lord is, first and foremost, our father, I’m able to rationalize that my inability to reach the next level and, ultimately, my purpose, is because He sees that my decision-making has deemed me not ready to move up. I’m coming out of the blocks all wrong.

As a Christian, your foundation and your blocks are already set firm and sure. This is because our standard isn’t our own. All we have to do is be in the right position when the gun goes. When decision time hits, the instinctive reaction should be a leap of faith from a position that is correctly set in the foundation we have been provided with.
Obviously, there are times you will get the start right and move on to the next level. For me, there are too many times when I’ve come out the blocks with angles too small and angles too great. In a 100m sprint, angles slightly in any direction can have drastic impact on your performance. Within the same remit, slight angular discrepancies in our choices can have drastic impact on our performance. Not just in our Christian development but in our every day life as well.

When it comes to my personal story, regarding choices and, chiefly, the repetitively poor ones, I have to akin myself with Samson. A raw, hot-blooded (pretty literally!) man. Given a purpose, knows his purpose but has to deal with a side of himself that is as raw as his purpose is refined. Other guys like me will agree that, even though we have a purpose and know our purpose, we are harassed with a particular weakness. A weakness that ALWAYS presents itself and has us going through this training cycle of block-starts over and over again. For Samson, it was women and I’m pretty certain a lot of us men fall under the same judgement. Maybe for someone else, it is money or a career. Whatever it is, it has us transgressing the law time and time again and I speak from experience when I say, the consequences, just as for Samson, get more and more severe. It’s the onset of a seducing spirit (Sometimes referred to as the Delilah spirit) and the way in which it brought Samson to his knees that also has me associating myself with his story.

Something that I’d like to raise about Samson is that Samson wasn’t a player. He wasn’t a man that simply wanted get with any female breathing life. I believe Samson’s issue was that he fell for women very easily. To the point he would break the law he was under to please her. Hence the seducing spirit.
This isn’t to say, for the politically correct reading this blog, that all women are creatures of seduction. For Samson, there was a spirit that used individuals to play on his weakness. I share this weakness. It’s called an overwhelmingly loving character. Yes, I’m about to defend Samson’s spot!
Love will always leave the lover open to hurt and seduction but we often see that this is when said lover is out of position. For Samson’s 3 mentioned failings, he was out of the position he should have been in (Physically. However, spiritually this was ordained by God). None of the three women we hear of were of his own country and the situations he would have been in to meet them were also against the grain of the law laid out for a Jewish man at that time. Also, Samson was a Nazarite. Simply put, leading up to his final rendezvous with Delilah, Samson gives us plenty of ‘Wait… What?!’ moments to ponder. These were his poor decisions. These were his incorrect block starts.

The Seducing Spirit.

Seducing spirits are fascinating to me. Maybe a strange statement but they are, as I’m fascinated with how the human body and mind work. Seducing spirits manipulate truth to caress human pride. Their ability to remove men and women from their rightful position is both remarkable and terrible at the same time and their accuracy is like that of a sniper. It’s the seducing spirit that begins downfall by having us believe that we can do it without God. Adam and Eve being the first example. For the Theologians out there, room could be made to suggest the first example was satan bringing a third of the angels with him when he was cast from heaven. That’s a totally different blog, though!

I believe words are exceptionally powerful. We see in Revelation 8:3-4 that the ‘prayers of the saints’ have a physical form as ‘smoke of the incense’. Matthew 12:36 also tells us how every man will have to give an account of every idle word he speaks. ‘Abracadabra!’ comes from a root word meaning, “With my words, I create.” This is a genuine incantation used by witches and reinforces my belief that we can become the product of statements leaving our mouths.
Judges 16:7, to me, is the beginning of the end for Samson. It was the first documented time that he verbally admits A weakness. At this point, the work of the seducing spirit is done. Samson’s position is now compromised, and permanently. Even if Samson, at this point had escaped, the source of his strength would have spread like wildfire.
After being broken down for a large part of his manhood, Samson finally caved, speaking his own fate.
I believe, as with many characters of the Bible, we are given a synopsis of Samson’s life. I find it difficult to believe that Samson only clashed with the Philistines a handful of times and, given his weakness, I would totally disagree with Samson only ever being with 3 females, especially seeing as one was a harlot, hailing from Gaza. Samson was a well-known gentleman throughout Israel and throughout Philistia. THIS WAS NOT THE FIRST TIME that Samson came under pressure, from a female, as to the source of his strength.

Positioning, at the point of decision and action is so paramount. I’m only seeing it myself as I type.

It’s sad to see the final suffocation and succumbing of Samson. He goes from admitting his weakness to then affirming the fact he has a weakness. That is, when he was then bound with something a little stronger. Then he directs Delilah to his hair and she weaves it into a weaver’s machine before he finally caves in totally and she cuts his hair off.
It’s crazy that Samson was so smitten by her, he became powerless to walk away, powerless to say no. Love, taken for granted. Are you, reader, allowing your Love to be taken for granted? Are you in position, aligned with your purpose, to answer the question correctly?

Thought. Wow. Being out of position can cost you your life, as it did for Samson.

Every one of Samson’s decisions was based on previous experience. Every time he left the blocks, the Lord had him come back and practice again. 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Matthew 11:30 are good examples of where we are shown that the Lord will not give us more than we can handle. In that, it would not only make him a bad father but it would also make him a liar if he were to allow us to make it to the next level when we are not ready. Hence the necessity for continual training. It isn’t simple sadism. Sadistic behaviour is not a behaviour God displays, in spite of some believing so. He just wants us to make sure we can perform on the level we are aiming for and that’s why our positioning is so important.

When the gun goes at the start of a 100m sprint, there is a massive amount of power generated in the leap of faith that occurs. Indeed, Usain Bolt, when at speed, can exert over 1000lbs of pressure, through the floor, in less than a quarter of a second.

When angles are too great, the leap also has too great an angle. This causes the body to become upright too quickly. I’ve been here. It is soul-destroying when you know you have come up too quickly and you are passed by others in the race, who’s acceleration period lasted much longer than yours.
Likewise, in terms of choice. When your angles are too great, you can come up too quickly. This is symptomatic of operating above your ability. Sometimes this is through excitement and being eager. At others, unfortunately, it is due to some simply operating above their station. People that wish to be seen. Ultimately, both scenarios are a result of confidence in one’s self, as opposed to God.
The result of coming up too quickly is that of hardship. Any headwind will hit you that much longer than if you were to have driven for a longer period of time and then, of course, there is that discouragement from watching others come from behind you to pass you. Interestingly, the only thing that you can do at this point is retain form. You can only go through the motions and cover the distance, while giving testimony of going up the rough side of the mountain.

The experience of positioning with angles too great in the blocks can lead a Christian to then start with angles too tight. My honest belief is that, by the time Samson got to meeting Delilah, he was here. The same can be said of many men and women. The same can be said of me on many occasion.
When your angles are too tight, the leap of faith is done from hurt and the fear of letting go and letting God. The heels are often brought away from the block at this point, meaning the ankle sinks, costing time when the gun goes, and certain of the leg muscles are not used to full potential in the leap of faith. Thus leading to a lack of extension of the hip, resulting in shorter, more labored steps. It is also possible for the toe to drag, which can see you stumble and fall. I should know. I’ve been there, physically as well as spiritually. The pain and embarrassment can cause you to walk away altogether.
There are only 3 women mentioned, in order to give us example of Samson’s life. All three used him for personal gain. When Samson met Delilah, he just couldn’t take anymore. She wasn’t the ultimate breaker of men. She was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. After years of holding it together, Samson leaped from the blocks, relying on himself and paid the ultimate price.
Are you making decisions from that place of hurt? Have you given up on relying on God and are at a point where you are fearful of extending, in faith, from the foundation He has provided?

I find it interesting that, as people, we crave something so much that we are willing to let remove ourselves from our standards in order to obtain it. Samson left his calling as, not just a Jewish man, but as a Nazarite. Further, and most saddening, we are never told of Samson’s purpose. All of the judges of Israel had one but Samson committed suicide. Yes, he took a large amount of Philistines with him in the process but this time, when he came in line with his purpose, it cost him his own life.

So, how does one practice to get the art of decision-making right? How do we avoid coming out of the blocks with the wrong angles?

Spiritual Myelination.

Myelination is the process carried out by the brain to secure neurological pathways of remembrance. Put simply, the more you do it, the better you do it!
As you practice getting out of the blocks more and more, with the knowledge and guidance of getting it right, the more proficient you become at doing it. Your brain begins to secure communication paths just for that particular movement so that, when called upon, your body will, almost, worry about nothing else.
In that we are always in God’s presence (He is omnipotent), he takes the role of Coach. Communication with him takes the form of prayer. I kind of see this as turning up to the track for practice. It’s that one-on-one time, where a bond is developed and where your coach provides you with feedback on you and how you are performing. It’s also a time for chastisement, when you aren’t applying yourself. Interestingly, in this time, it is the coach that does most of the talking. Imagine taking that into your prayer life!
While away from the track, it’s important to dedicate yourself to your goal. In this, the 21st Century, Google, YouTube and a plethora of online resources are at our disposal to fine tune our craft. The Word of God. For some, it is the book on the bedside table, that has managed to gather dust (Some are honest and say they don’t read it, others try to convince me that they regularly turn the pages on their smart phone. Anyway…!). For others it is the book they always have around, pages falling out of well-thumbed leather binding. Whatever state it is in, it is the study manual every Christian needs to be attentive to. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. Interestingly, alongside the shield of faith, it is the only part of the armour of God, spoken of in Ephesians 6, that is only operational when used dynamically. Static, it has no use and we see it used in dynamic form by Jesus himself, when he was tempted by satan in Matthew 4. Every response was a direct response from the Word of God and to every response there was no argument.

In that the Word and Faith are both useless when static, we come to the final point.
James 2 tells us that Faith, without works, is dead. Romans 10 tells us that Faith ultimately comes by the Word of God. Further, John 1:1 tells us that God IS his Word. That being said, I believe God, his Word and our Faith, therefore, can be linked in the following sentence, to effect an explosion to perform at your fullest potential:

“Know God (as opposed to know OF God) and use his Word to understand where he wants you to be. Then take the leap of Faith in HIS confidence.”

It may be that you have to try several times. It may be that you have your angles too great or too small to start off with but, in that you are operating in Faith, you CANNOT give up because to give up leaves you stuck in the blocks, going nowhere, fast.

God Bless.