The Olympics give us hope. They show us a world where we can set differences aside and appreciate each other as individuals without judgment of race, religion, politics or nationality. I almost wish there were no medals, however without goals, we have no path to run on. The Olympics represent those of us who try harder, who go further, who attain that moment that is their own.

Most of my heroes are athletes, because they push themselves beyond their comfort zone. Yet they do things that are not beyond what I can do. Lance Armstrong rides a bike, and so can I. Apollo Ono skates, so can I. While I am nowhere near as good at these guys at doing these things, they still motivate me to action when I see them. Today Johnny Spillane earned a silver medal in Nordic Combined. No American has ever metaled in this cross country skiing event and that is very cool.

I had the pleasure to meet Allison Baver a few months ago. She will be competing in the 1000, 1500 and ladies 3000 short track skating events during this Olympics. The US Skating group lost its funding when it’s main source of funding went bankrupt. Steven Colbert, (yes the guy on TV) went to his viewers and asked for donations to support the short track programe and he raised over $300,000 to help them. I encourage you to watch the Olympics, and if you are motivated by them, donate to help support the teams.

More than that… Don’t just sit there, if you see someone doing something during the Olympics that looks like fun, or maybe something that you did as a kid and you thought it was fun, I encourage you to get up and go do it. You do not have to be the best. Chances are, you won’t be, but that is part of it. Everyone falls down, the only part that matters is how you get back up.

In my first 1/2 marathon I came in 9th. 9th from the last to finish, that is. I could hear the fire truck behind me opening traffic back up behind me. Was I embarrassed to almost come in last place? No. I ran my own race and I crossed that finish line. I did not quit. I also learned something about friendship: There were people who made fun of me for where I finished, most of those people could not have run a 1/2 marathon, and they were projecting their bad feelings onto me. I don’t hang out with a lot of those people anymore. I still love them, and wish them well, but I chose to hang with people who know more than I do about the things I want to do. It can be uncomfortable for a moment, and there were some bitter feelings, but in the end, life is short, and I would rather spend my time with upbeat people that are trying to better themselves and grow.

Watch the Olympics, support them and use what you love to motivate your self to action. I have never heard of someone on their deathbed saying “I wish I had been lazier.”


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