“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” ~ Audre Lorde
The Olympics. Athletes who have taken the love of their respective sport to their highest level. Power. Dedication. Commitment. Resolve. Words that describe these athletes who compete in the Olympics. They have taken the ideals of what the Olympics stand for and made it a part of their life.
- The balanced development of the body, will and mind
- The joy found in effort
- The educational value of being a good role model
- Respect for universal ethics including tolerance, generosity, unity, friendship, non-discrimination and respect for others
Today I'll be talking about the first bullet point – the balanced effort of the body, will, and mind. The picture above is from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It's a fitting picture in that it describes what these athletes must possess in order to have the strength they need to compete in the Olympics – Strength of Body, Strength of Mind, Strength of Spirit.
Strength of Body: The athletes competing in the Summer games have spent many years training their bodies in their respective sport. This has taken dedication and commitment to their body through proper physical training and nutrition. They don't only exercise when it's convenient or have a few extra snacks every day. It's continuous taking care of their bodies in every physical sense, including the training that is required for their sport.
Our Takeaway: Our body is the one body we have to work with during our lives here on earth. And you have choices. How do you treat your body? Do you feed it junk, or high quality foods? Do you keep it in good physical shape, or do you let it deteriorate? Choices. And, you can make small steps in the right direction here. Our bodies are amazing things, and even small changes can do wonders for how we feel. If this is an area you're lacking in, start small and make positive changes in the right direction.
Strength of Mind: Our minds are powerful things. For athletes training for the Olympics, they need to understand their sport in every detail. This requires learning the many intricacies of it. And on top of that, many of these athletes are also still young and in school. But even those who have finished formalized school still continue to learn new things. A sharp mind is necessary when playing their sport.
Our Takeaway: Are you learning new things? The world is filled with so many wondrous opportunities for learning. Books. Classes. Cultures. Who knows what you might discover about yourself in the process. After you've taken that class – you can teach what you've learned to others.
Strength of Spirit: Essentially, this is the soul of a person. It's what we all have deep-down, that thing which really drives us forward when we nothing else will. For the athletes competing in the Olympics, it's what they give when they just can't give anymore. Somewhere, they find the will to push a little harder. They push themselves to practice a little longer. They keep on when others have stopped. Because they know that is what it takes to make it to the Olympics and have a chance to compete with the best in the world.
Our Takeaway: Deep down, you all have this strength of spirit. What you need to do to really use it to it's fullest, is to find the thing which you love and are passionate about. Take, for instance, a parent-child relationship. It's not uncommon to hear of parents doing extraordinary feats to protect their children. This is strength of spirit at work. They know with all their heart how important that child is to them, no matter the circumstance. Now, think of your life. Have you found that thing, personally, which you are passionate about? What sets your heart on fire? That's where you'll find the strength of spirit alive in you.
Conclusion Olympic Strength: The athletes competing at the Summer Games in Beijing possess this and the qualities that make it up: Strength of body, strength of mind, and strength of spirit. Olympic Strength:
You possess it too. It's there in all of us, waiting to be discovered.
Seek out what you love, and Olympic strength can be yours!