Several years ago when my parents joined I gym, I told my mom that she was going to love the endorphin rush as her inner Olympian came out. Well, let’s just say that are times in life when we are close, but no cigar. Though my parents have gone faithfully to the gym, it’s never been quite the source of joy it is for me. Fair enough.
That being said, I still believe there is an inner Olympian in each of us! (I try not to use many exclamation points – but this is how I feel. Most likely you can see why my mom just rolls her eyes when I talk like this, but people, someone has to be the enthusiastic one and that’s me.)
The Olympics offer us the following opportunities to tap into our inner Olympian with these reminders that will live on long after that glorious flame is extinguished.
1. There are times in life to really get excited.
2. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but not putting in the work can almost guarantee failure.
3. Dress for success – whether it is some fancy kind of swim suit that helps with speed or a uniform that won’t get in the way of your performance, there is no doubt that these are Olympians and not just some kids fresh off the playground.
4. You don’t accomplish greatness on your own. The sea of coaches, shots of the parents, and mentions of friends and teammates demonstrates that everyone stands on the shoulders of others.
5. Enjoy the moment! Another way of saying this: tune in. Easier said than done, but as much as possible, remind yourself of small details of the moment.
6. You will get banged up. When the camera zoomed in on a woman gymnast’s toes, it kind of ruined the magic for me. While everything else about her seemed so lovely, her feet gave a fuller picture as they told the truth.
7. It’s OK to show real emotion. Watching Liu Xiang, the Chinese hurdler, crash into the first hurdle and then hop his way to the finish, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole country. I saw something on yahoo that showed the faces of some of the silver medalists, many of whom had dreams of gold. Life comes with disappointments. But it also comes with some thrilling victories. It’s important to weep with those who weep and celebrate with those who celebrate.
8. The spotlight will be fleeting. We love these athletes, yet will remember few by name sooner than we care to admit.
It was the Seoul Olympics in 1988 that showed my family I have a bit of an addictive personality as I watched every minute televised. Yes, I rearranged my dorm room so that my desk faced the television and basically did no school work except for calculus during the entire Olympics. And here is the final tip for the Olympian in all of us: there will be seasons to rearrange your life (and furniture) and give your focus fully, wonderfully, and enthusiastically to something.
And then mourn it when it’s over. Olympics, thank you for being a bright spot every couple of years.
Anything to add to my list for your inner Olympian?