I love the Olympics! Summer, Winter, I love them both. I remember watching Mary Lou Retton win her gold medals in 1984, and my favorite figure skating performance was in the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics where Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean performed to Ravel’s Bolero. I was 12 years old. Two years ago my son Sean and I watched as Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever. That’s what I find incredible and wonderful about the Olympics. You can see one event or one performance and you carry it with you for a lifetime. My son will remember that for the rest of his life, as I remember the ones I mentioned earlier. It was a bonding moment for me and him as well, and there’s no price you can put on that.
Figure skating and bobsled are my favorite winter events. I always look for Jamaica in the bobsled and that’s who I root for. Blame John Candy. I love the movie Cool Runnings. Now there’s the embodiment of Olympic spirit. They are truly inspirational. You get this country who has no experience with winter sports and they compete in the bobsled. Did you see what happened with them this year? It was heartwarming. They were not going to be able to compete this year due to funding even though they qualified. Within two days they received $30,000 of the $40,000 they needed to raise two days before the deadline of January 21, 2014. Then, before 4pm UTC time, they received another $80,000 from online donations. They raised a total of $121,000 and their target was $80,000. I love this team. I always hope they win. But that’s the thing about the Olympics, you never know what’s going to happen. The underdogs can come from behind and win gold medals. It’s such an exciting thing. Athletes who have every adavantage can have one bad moment and never place. While others have that fire lit within them, and they go for it with all their heart.
That’s what I want in my life every day. I want to have that fire lit and to keep it lit. I want to be a life athlete, and to compete in this big event where the only medal you receive is a life well-lived. I’m done being afraid and not taking risks. If I’ve learned anything from the Olympics, it’s that these athletes take risks, and the ones who take the biggest risks, they win more than a gold medal. They win their dreams. These athletes are amazing. They work so hard to get to where they are and I hate it when, after the Olympics are over, some of them end up on the wrong end of the news. But, they are only human, as are we all. We make mistakes. Ours just don’t end up in the media usually. The important thing is to learn from them.
For the first time in my adult life I have my fire burning bright. Every day I wake up thinking about obtaining my goals and what I need to do to get that much closer to them. Have I written my post for the day, or do I need to write something else? Did I get my run in or do I need to? How about my workout? What else can I do or do I need to do to get where I want to be? How many positive things can I find to motivate me today? What new things can I try today to become someone who competes in life, rather than watching it? That’s what I think about off and on every day since I began this new chapter in my life. I keep in the front of my mind how I would hate to disappoint myself, or those who inspire me to succeed: my kids, my family, and my friends.
Go light your fire and keep it lit!