However, I continue to watch and listen as I observe closely the absolute strength, focus, discipline, endurance, and perseverance these extraordinary athletes demonstrate. I am amazed. They train day in and day out for years to even have the chance to qualify for the games. Their big sized dreams come at quite a price not only to them but to those around them.
Listening to their personal life stories that bring them to the Olympic competitions is what inspires me. Many share their struggles, injuries, and set backs which entail both physical and mental challenges. Quite often, the athletes speak of their many obstacles as stepping stones which actually propell them forward in reaching their dreams of winning the gold medal.
The athletes give honor to their families, friends, coaches, and other teammates because they know that their success hasn't been achieved walking the path alone. It takes an entire dedicated support team to help them cross their finish line and medal! I particularly like the story of Michael Phelps and his unique path of highs and lows and vulnerability. His story matters because it possibly gives us insight into our own struggles and triumphs. I also love the Jamacain runner, Bolt. Who doesn't? His large personality is engaging and fun. The U.S.A. Women's swim team and their endearing smiles---learning a small tidbit of their stories makes us feel like we "know" them a little better each time they compete.
My road to Rio looks and feels different from these real athletes who are currently competing. However, I get up each day and feel as though I am training for a marathon or some other grueling event. I plant my feet on the floor each morning and breathe in some positive energy, set my intention, grab my team of amazing supporters, and try to move forward as best I can. "Pray first, move second" is my motto. I may be slow and may not get too far depending on how my head and body feel, but I keep with my training. Mentally and physically I try to keep a positive mindset while keeping my eyes fixed on my goals. Some days I feel successful, while other days, the obstacles seem very daunting.
Well, I may not win any gold medals at the end of a day, but that doesn't matter to me. In my heart, I win knowing that I am surrounded by much love and support from those around me. My faith gives me purpose and the strength I need to carry on while encouraging others to keep training as well.
What does your road to Rio look and feel like? How can your personal story matter to others if you allow it to be shared?
May you all enjoy watching the rest of the games!!