"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." ~ The Olympic Creed
Every four years the finest frosty athletes in the world converge to test their skills against one another and the elements. The XXII (that's 22nd, for any non-Romans) Winter Olympics are mere days away in Sochi, Russia.
What does that have to do with us? Well, just like the Olympians, we've been testing ourselves against the elements for the last several months. Mother Nature hasn't just used cold temps and darkness to make this winter difficult. She's also added an extra degree of difficulty (probably to offset the poor score from the East German judge) by throwing us a seemingly biweekly blitzkrieg of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and subarctic temps.
This isn't meant to be an article ranting about Jack Frost nipping at more than just our noses. It's about appreciating those athletes that will be filling your favorite show's time slot for the next few weeks. I've been fortunate enough to meet, get to know, and work with several Olympians throughout the years. Their dedication, drive, work ethic, and almost monastical lifestyle are all focused towards an event that only comes around every four years. That's simply amazing. The sacrifices they make to just get a chance to attempt to go to the Olympic Games requires far more strength of will than many can fathom. Very few of the athletes chasing their Olympic dream can or will earn a living in their sport. A study after the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials revealed that of the athletes that finished in the top ten in their event, over 50% of them lived at or below the poverty level. The faith and determination they exude is truly remarkable and admirable.
Again, what does this have to do with you and me? Well, we all have dreams and goals in life. We all have that mountain we want to scale. Whether we are tackling our first 5k or a marathon, working to lose weight, or exercising to become healthier, we all have moments of doubt...and doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Over these next couple of weeks, it's our turn to live the Olympic Creed. Think of the hours, days, weeks, months, years of training that Winter Olympic athletes have put in under weather conditions much worse than ours. If they can sacrifice so much just for the opportunity to be called an Olympian, our excuses for what holds us back don't hold water (or snow as the case may be). It's time to fight well.
Good Luck and Happy Racing!