Watching the Olympics in Rio can help me feel like a great useless blob.
I realize that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to athletes that are in outrageous shape and much younger. But seeing these competitors run straight to the edge of what they are capable, then hurl themselves to record-breaking times and personal bests does hold up a mirror for self-examination.
The human body is capable of incredible accomplishments, but only with a strong mind as a co-pilot. Any athlete who breaks down psychologically only beats himself. Any loss of focus or distraction after making an error in performance can make the difference in being in the medals or not.
And most of the athletes incorporate their sport into their already complicated lives, not the other way around. Life comes before sport. Each profile revealed more challenges than the last. Injuries, illnesses, family and financial struggles, their lives are just like the rest of ours. But they do it anyway.
Even with the possibility of having this happen.
Their heart and determination lie outside their troubles. They push through and persevere no matter what else is going on around them. A few athletes that had to miss the last Olympics are now in Rio. Others who performed better in the last Olympics are struggling in this one. We all have peaks and valleys. Even Michael Phelps.
And no one gets younger. We are all on the same clock.
We can dwell in our deficiencies, missteps, the bad hand we were dealt, or we can focus on reaching our goals after being honest about why we want to. We can work to keep our minds healthy and productive. And keep putting one foot in front of the other after a fall if only to finish what we start.
We can believe in our abilities, commitment, and spirit where anything is possible.
We can re-evaluate, restructure, and resume after making adjustments.
We can show up and do our best with honor and integrity.
Because in real life, there are no medals. Only the satisfaction of the doing.