Hi my name is Andrew aka “Pants” (as my colleagues would say)
I am the social media coordinator behind the Legacy Lifestyle Facebook and Twitter page. I just thought it would be nice for all out fans and followers to see someone behind the brand instead of the traditional boring administrators that reply in monologue texts and make no effort to get to know their fans.
I am 24 years old and have I’ve been at Legacy Lifestyle since December 2011, so you could say I’m quite an old timer here ;).
I like to keep fit aka I Crossfit ;), I have got quite a rep here for eating healthy and judging everyone on what foods they bring into the office. My colleagues would say I’m quite loud, but I just have a lot to say. I have a fine dress sense but it’s often misunderstood here in the Lifestyle office. For instance I once wore this stylish pair of grey skinny jeans, but for some unknown reason they weren’t liked by the rest of the office. So like many great men in history I was ridiculed and laughed at for my individuality and that’s where my nickname “Pants” came along and it still haunts me today (Haven’t worn those jeans since).
That’s enough about me, back to Legacy Lifestyle. We want to give Lifestyle a personality; we will still be doing informative posts about brand partners and new additions to Lifestyle but we will also give you a behind the scenes look at what goes on here at the Lifestyle offices and the individuals that contribute to the everyday running of this awesome brand.
Pants the Social Media Coordinator
Have you seen our star studded Lifestyle video yet
Four years, five hours a day, six days a week. That’s how long your goal, your driving force, spends submerged. The bottom of the pool is laid open like a map with your eyes fixed on that black line that marks your route and your heart focused on the golden disc that waits to be claimed. It is the force that only allows you to come up for air once you’ve learned to breathe under water.
It’s a staggering 24,192,000 seconds of relentless training every four years or 15,000km’s of swimming, and all that counts – all that matters – is the last 47 seconds to success. It’s all consuming. And can leave you empty if you don’t know balance, if you don’t have vision.
I really enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi recently, even though most of the sports were completely foreign to me. Regardless, what I enjoyed most was watching the athletes’ intense body language and behaviour, before during and after their events. I could really identify with their anguish in defeat and ecstasy in victory, emotions I experienced at my four Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008). It also made me think about the journey my teammates and I took to get to our Olympic Gold medal and let me take stock of everything that has happened since that day in Athens 10 years ago. How time flies…
There were 302 gold medals on offer at the 2004 Olympic Games and I was fortunate enough to win one of them. It was “a 20 year overnight success story” which changed my life forever. Soon after the Olympics I was offered approximately R50 million to change my citizenship to Qatar and compete for them at the upcoming Asian Games and 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It was a big call to make for somebody that was completely broke just one year before and surviving and training on hand-outs from benefactors. I made the decision to turn down the offer because I believed that there was more to life than money, or even an Olympic Gold medal. I honestly believed that if I followed my passion, it would repay me one day.
Sometimes I feel that young athletes today chase athletic success for the fame, money and recognition it can bring, but for me this was never the case. The term “success to significance” became my motto and it is still today. How do you turn a gold medal into something more? How do you make that gold medal stand out above the rest?
South Africa provides the perfect and unique platform to be able to make a lasting difference. Legacy Lifestyle’s “Blow the Whistle” campaign is one such project that has the ability to change people’s lives. Another project that is close to my heart is “Hope Through Action”, an organisation that builds world-class sports and community centres and previously disadvantaged areas. It is a true privilege to be involved with a group of people that make a difference by taking a step forward, by putting word and hope to action. (www.hopethroughaction.com)
At times your success and your position can make a significant impact, especially when you use it for good. An automatic door will not open unless you move towards it. Using that same ‘power’ or influence for selfish gain and your own glory comes down to vanity and grasping for the wind. But speak the truth and live your legacy in truth and then you will know that success can indeed be fulfilling.
Looking at recent reports from Australia about my former rivals Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett both in rehab for alcohol abuse and depression there is a real threat that one’s athletic success can define you to the point where everything else afterwards is just downhill.
Is it possible to reach the highlight of your life when you are just in your twenties? These are the questions or demons that Olympians and other elite athletes wrestle with mostly out of sight of the once adoring fans. Achieving Olympic success might not be the biggest challenge in an athlete’s life, but rather how one lives a meaningful one afterwards and how to make that success significant.
Legacy Lifestyle Ambassador