Friday, February 7, 2014

Olympic Standards

The Olympics are upon us.  Tonight is opening ceremonies for the 2014 Sochi Games.  I look forward to watch friends compete.  I look forward to see people I have never heard of compete.  Every four years we get to see people lay it on the line, sometimes for mere seconds, for a shot at a medal, for a shot at glory.

Four years ago I had the unique opportunity to walk into opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Games.  It was an amazing experience.
Four years can go by quickly.

What I've learned from being around Olympians is that while you have to own today, you must commit to the long term.  It can be easy to say tomorrow when it's 3 years away.  To make sacrifice day in and day out for the chance, just a chance, to get to the games.  To make sacrifices when no one is watching and no one cares.  That is what everyone you will watch in the coming weeks have done.

The lucky few who win a medal, will not be the majority.  If your only goal is a medal, chance are you will walk away from a long journey disappointed and disillusioned.

The great ones I know love the grind.  Holding themselves to a Spartan like standards to carve out the life they enjoy.  It's full of sacrifice, but there is joy in the sacrifice.  They know nothing worth accomplishing is easy.  There is satisfaction in the pursuit of perfection.

Perfection is the best that you can possibly be.  To take 4 years, sometimes 8 years, to wring out every ounce of talent, every breath of potential that your body possesses.  This is what we witness when we watch the Olympics.

Citius, Altius, Fortius.   Faster, Higher, Stronger.

It isn't fastest, highest, strongest.  It's not about being the best.  It's about being your best.  That is the Olympic Standard.  You are left knowing that you lived a life that had no excuses, that you committed to a task body, mind and soul.

The Olympics remind us that great things can be accomplished when a singleness of purpose is had.  The soul is stirred and perhaps our own commitment to citius, altius, fortius in our life is ignited.

For that, we thank you.

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