What do non-sports enthusiasts gain from watching the Olympics?
Ok, I must confess I only like to watch sports when it gets up close and personal. Maybe it’s because growing up, I did not have an athletic bone or muscle in my body. When teams were being chosen in gym, I was always last or next to last to be chosen. Somewhere, though, my kids picked up some talent – either a latent gene or one from their father. That said, when they played I was their best cheerleader. A few years ago when the Phillies were vying for the pennant and the World Series, I gave them my unwavering support, and now when the USA takes on the rest of the world, I’m right there.
My kids would look at the techniques and strategies, I look at the scoreboard or the position in the race, but that’s not what won these athletes their position in the roster. It wasn’t their innate talent or ability. That was there, but the victories came from hard work – preparation and determination.
Listening to Carmelita Jeter, the silver medal winner in the 100 meter run, talk about the grueling paces her trainer and coach required made her cry and me cringe. I’d have never made it, but Carmelita did. Her coach’s efforts produced resilience in her and earned her the silver.
Resilience is one of those characteristics that will do you well away from athletic events. Wherever life takes you, learning to persevere and focus on the task at hand produces a quality that will carry you through the current challenge and beyond. Maybe I should pay more attention before the next Olympics rolls around. There’s a lot more to learn than the score.
You’ll not find much time left on the countdown clock for the start of the 2012 Olympics. Very soon you’ll hear the words, “Let the games begin.” Will you be watching?
Whether you’re a dedicated sports enthusiast or an occasional viewer, take advantage of the events in these next couple of weeks. Look beyond the gold, silver and bronze to see the stories of commitment, concentration, control, and courage that enabled these athletes to accomplish their goals and realize their dreams. Regardless if they win a medal, they qualified to participate in the XXX Olympiad. That is no small feat.
As you watch and listen to commentators regale you with facts and statistics, see if they inspire you. Regardless of their innate talent or abilities, each one (not just the track stars) had hurdles to overcome whether physical or emotional. None of them woke up one morning and decided to try out, and each one learned from the experience. I think we can learn from them as well.
You might enjoy reading what Penelope Trunk learned about business from playing beach volleyball or Christie Rampone gained in the area of leadership from her soccer experiences. And, you’ll become aware of many more inspiring stories once these games begin.
We will hear a lot to inspire us, and we’ll see examples of successful results. Will it be enough for us to do what it takes to follow our dreams? It could.