I love watching the Olympics! It’s always fascinating watching those at the top of their game competing on such a grand stage. Even more so, I love hearing about their stories and what they have overcome or how they got started. I think that there is also a lot that we can learn about the athletes that can be applied to our lives as well. So let’s jump in!
- It’s ok to be a little eccentric. Did you watch the luge? One of our athletes (Tucker West) talked about how his father built their very own luge in their back yard. Over time, it grew and they added in some bells and whistles like lights and a timing system. It sounds pretty funny…and maybe a little bit dangerous. They did testing and rebuilding on the track before anyone actually went down it on a sled (In case you were wondering). However, they went all in and it payed off big time. When you have a passion, sometimes you need to go out of the box to follow it.
What can we learn from this? First, don’t care about what others may think. Second, be persistent (I mean really….building a 700 foot track is no small feat). Because they were willing to take this chance, Tucker and his father were introduced to the Adirondack Luge Club and subsequently Tucker was invited to the USA luge team. So take your chances and follow your dreams even if it means doing something a little off the wall. You never know what doors may open when you take the first few steps.
- It takes focus and sacrifice. I think this goes even without saying. To achieve success at such a high level, it will take work and sacrifice to get there. Practicing and training for hours every day. Probably the most important ingredient is focus. When you want to become the best at something, you put all of your eggs in one basket. If you dilute your focus by taking on multiple interests or business pursuits you may not reach your full potential. Don’t get distracted either. If you learn anything about these athletes many of them have also had to overcome serious injuries to stay in the game. Don’t let a set back be your stop sign. Refocus and work on your comeback! It will make you that much stronger in the end.
What can we learn from this? You can do anything but you can’t do everything. We need to spend time reflecting and deciding what is most important to us. Mastery of skill comes with dedication. Don’t stop when you hit a speedbump. Use that set back to your advantage to learn, adapt, and become stronger.
- It’s good to be comfortable with yourself. Adam Rippon talks in his interview about how important it is to know yourself and have that comfort level to be able to express yourself. In an interview with TIME, he says, “In this day and age, I think it is important to be visible and stand up for what you believe in and let the young kids know that it’s OK to be yourself.” Although much of the publicity for Adam is around the fact that he is the first openly gay Olympic athlete, his character, humility and dedication to his sport is what brought him to this point. He fought hard for this place on the team and is using this opportunity to be relatable and to positively impact those around him and those looking up to him.
What can we learn from this? When you have the chance to be a role model and to speak up for what you believe in, don’t let the moment pass you by. I also love the fact that he talks about how he has learned from his mistakes and has continued to grow through everything that he went through to make the Olympic team in order to best represent himself and the Country. I think that is also another component of being comfortable with yourself. You can’t be afraid to fail. The only way that you really fail is if you stop learning.
So cheers to the athletes and the great lessons! Take your chances, learn your lessons and keep your focus.