Two days, fourteen events and a mammoth challenge. Having never before been on a track Lauren Hendry decided to enter the Tetra-Decathlon World Championships spurred on by the goal of being 14th best at something in the World! “A serious amateur” she declares before listing other “serious amateurs” who have taken on seemingly impossible tasks with nothing but dogged persistence and determination.
Following 600 days of training she did it, she completed her goal, and now she has documented it all in a one-woman play where she charts her journey from the basic “drills and skills” to competition day. The first event she ever entered was javelin – having never even held a javelin. Two no-throws resulted in an amusing account of how she made sure her third throw would be valid and come in as fourth best…of four.
It is a well put together show complete with countdown timer clock which Hendry uses to record how many days left until the big one – the Tetra-Decathlon World Championships – and a pulsating musical beat which kicks in to add tension. The set is simple. As well as the clock there are three gym lockers and one bench and Hendry dispatches with different layers of clothing as the competition date looms.
It is incredible to imagine the resolve and willpower which must have kept Hendry going during those long winter training sessions and on days when it all just seemed too much. A particular gruelling account of her first 3,000 metre race would have put most people off but she kept on going in what is an inspiring tale of pushing on, challenging yourself and the resilience of the human spirit.
Sports’ fans will enjoy the tale of how a complete beginner can become a world competitor, although it is quite a niche topic, but all will admire the tenacity of this “serious amateur”.