I have been watching the Olympics the last several evenings with Mandy and Geordie. Amazing to say the least. The excellence that these people have achieved, and many of them VERY young, is astounding.
It is so incredible to watch what a human body can achieve with focus, discipline and desire. It is beyond my imagination. How do you catapult yourself into the air, flip and twist and turn and STILL land on your feet? Really, it leaves me speechless.
Growing up, I was never even able to do a cartwheel……..
Of course, what we do not see is the thousands of hours spent in preparation for these events. The early morning wake up alarms to get to the gym for another 8 hours of training. The sore muscles, injuries and mental fatigue that these athletes face at times and must work through.
But the athletes that we have the privilege of watching during the Olympics have found the support and inner strength to do that.
I have come to realize that the mental state of anything we are trying to achieve is perhaps even more difficult than the physical. The mind screams, “I can’t do one more!” I am too tired!” ”Who am I to have this much excellence in my life??” ”I do not have THAT much ability!” ……….and so on.
I have always deeply admired these athletes for their physical prowess. Now I also admire them for the strength of mind that they have developed.
We will not all be Olympians. It is not our path in this lifetime. But working towards excellence (in any area of our lives) feels GOOD. It is inspiring. It keeps life feeling ALIVE and interesting.
I remember sitting on the sidelines watching my children as they played basketball, baseball and volleyball. I took them to gymnastics and dance lessons and competitions. I loved it!
But one day I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to just sit on the sidelines any more and observe. I wanted to be a participant as well. I wanted to work towards excellence myself in some way.
And so yoga entered into my life. And it is from my own practice of yoga that I now view the Olympics. My practice is like a drop in the bucket compared to what these athletes practice each day, but it gives me a point of reference that I did not have in many of the Olympics that I watched in the past.
And so I work in my own way developing my physical strength, balance and grace through my yoga practice. And I am faced with my own demons in my mind that would have me believe that it is too hard or that I don’t have the strength or the stamina to continue on my path and sometimes they are very convincing.
So thank you Olympians for inspiring me. Thank you for your dedication and your incredible focus and hard work. Thank you to each of you for sharing your individual genius and talent with me. Whether you win the gold, the silver, the bronze or no medal at all, you have inspired millions. Thank you for that. And to everyone, blessings on the journey that you have chosen, melaniej