Although it might seem a little late to discuss the Olympics after its conclusion but it does make me wonder. What does it take to be an Olympic athlete? Can you imagine the training and basically lifelong dedication to one single sport? You wake up and instead of going to a ‘job’ as we know it the Olympic athlete (or hopeful!) either jumps in the pool or heads out to the track and probably spends their entire day there! Hours upon hours of diligent training with one focus – to attune their body to be efficient and work at its maximum potential and beyond! The food they eat, how much they sleep and any other activities they partake in (assuming they even have time to do anything besides train) all have to support their desire to achieve their goal – an Olympic medal, and preferably the gold!
This makes a person wonder – have I ever worked that hard to attain one singular goal? Can an average person have the drive and determination similar to the Olympic athlete? I think we all do – even though our goals might be a tad bit smaller or more short term! Getting the career you want, graduating with the degree you desire, making it through this year in school or just making it through today all requires an active decision to ‘do’ and move forward in life. Likewise, do we have the stamina to endure when life serves us with a Silver Medal or an injury and our Olympic hopes are dashed?
Pierre de Coubertin is credited for founding the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 in Paris. This committee set its objective as organizing the first Olympic Games of modern times. Pierre de Coubertin spoke of this at the beginning of the 20th century: “In these Olympiads, the important thing is not winning but taking part.(…) What counts in life is not the victory but the struggle, the essential thing is not to conquer but to fight well.” Revue Olympique, July 1908, p.110. (from a speech given during the London Olympic Games in 1908)
What is your ‘Olympic goal’? Are you at the beginning of your journey – still setting the goals you wish to achieve? Are you in the heat of the training with your pulse pounding? Are you reflecting on your own battle in the sport of life and now need to ask yourself - did I fight well?