Have you been watching the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics? It’s just so fascinating to me to watch young athletes who have devoted their entire lives to being the best in the world at one thing. The focus, the determination, the commitment, the passion. It is nothing short of inspiring. And the power the Olympics have to bring a world together is nothing short of miraculous.
One of my favorite parts of the broadcasts is when the network decides to show an athlete’s back story. So often we just assume that these kids were handed a magic wand that transformed them into something extraordinary. While it is true that many of them have exceptional natural talent; what sets them apart, what makes them earn the honor of representing their country on the world stage, is their commitment to pushing themselves. Story after story tell of someone who had failed, been injured, didn’t make the team, or faced some personal tragedy; and yet persevered, stayed late at the gym, gave up other pursuits, and became world champion material.
My favorite part though, is that you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to live with that sort of passion and determination. In fact, almost every area of importance in our lives could benefit from such an approach, be it work, diet, fitness, marriage, family or friends.
I walked out on the gym floor a few days ago and saw a perfect example. Brandon McElroy is one of our local strong climbers. He is extremely talented and a natural climber. Unfortunately, Brandon recently had an ankle injury that required surgery. No one would blame someone like that if they took some time off. But as I walked the floor, there was Brandon, hopping with one foot, his cast dragging behind, up one of our routes! And it dawned on me: no wonder he is so strong and talented.
Now I’m not proposing risking further injury by pushing too hard, but whether you are talking about your climbing progress or your high school experience, your leadership skills or your relationship success or just your current job performance, the truth is that those who stand out are the ones who put in the extra effort, the late hours, and the dogged determination to ‘get-it-right!’
So get out there, give it that old college try, and who knows what could happen.
Follow your bliss 110%,
PS: Climbing will make its debut in the 2020 Olympic Games. Better start practicing!