The Olympics–they bring to mind big dreams, athletes making history and well, spa treatments and fancy chocolates.
At least it did this weekend. My husband and I stayed at a hotel that offered that pretty chocolate platter and resort credit every time the U.S. won gold. I was already having fun watching gymnastics, swimming and track and field, but eight gold medals during our stay equaled not only patriotic excitement but free stuff, like a spa pedicure:
Thanks also to Missy Franklin and Katie Ladecky!
Spa services aside, I’ve always found the Olympics exciting, inspiring and highly motivating. When I was a teenager, I wrote in my diary that I was going to find a way to participate in the 24th Olympiad after watching the Los Angeles games.
Synchronized swimming was going to be my sport.
Now I got an A in swimming during my freshman year of high school, but I’d never, ever tried synchronized swimming, let alone played any sport in tandem (except maybe some Marco Polo bobbing). And while I loved gymnastics (and could rock the elementary round off dismount off the balance beam), I was not even remotely equipped for what was essentially a gymnastics floor program underwater.
I guess watching those Olympics, I found myself connected to that determination I saw in the athletes and I became motivated to do something. I wanted to experience that sense of accomplishment too.
But instead of funneling that motivation into one of my own dreams (I was very specific about my writing dreams according to my diary), I picked something random to shoot for.
It was a misguided attempt. One I’m not entirely sure about. I don’t think it was due to fear (that would come later). It was probably more about not knowing what to do about them (other than send out poetry to Seventeen magazine). Or maybe my dreams were so embedded, so much a part of me, that I almost forgot about them as a goal to practice and plan for.
I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.
~ Mitch Hedberg
So my writing dreams mostly faded into the background of high school and college–and if you believe my diary, BOYS.
Although it’s interesting to note now that I continued to fill journals and write stories (filing them away in a big Rubbermaid container). I worked at libraries and I took writing classes in college, grad school and at night when my kids were younger.
Writing stayed close whether or not I acknowledged it.
Synchronized swimming on the other hand, became just an odd and out-of-place wish sitting in one of my diaries.
I did however win a gold (ish) medal in 2007. Not exactly the Olympics–for these purposes, let’s call it the Royal Caribbean games.
I placed first in a ship wide dart competition.
No cool team uniforms. I think it was against international maritime law or something.
For whatever reason, dreams fade or get pushed aside for other things. Sometimes we pick something else because it’s expected, or it’s easier or maybe more acceptable.
But it’s important to remember that life happens whether or not you plan.
Planning helps, because motivation can fade.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
I love hearing stories about people realizing their dreams–or accomplishing another step toward them. It’s exciting and inspiring, and everywhere, not only at the Olympics. I’ve seen that excitement in my kids’ faces and heard it in my sister’s voice each time she moves closer to her nursing degree. Finding inspiration, whatever gets you fired up, is a significant part of going for your own dreams.
It’s a reminder that if you put in A LOT of hard work toward a goal, accomplishment is not only possible, but EXHILARATING.
Of course, baby steps are fine. Just be sure to name your goal and put on your work clothes.
“Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.”
Then go after the dreams in your mind and your heart (fancy chocolates optional).
I’m going out there to try to accomplish the things that I have in my mind and in my heart.
Do you have Olympic-sized dreams in your heart? What training are you doing to get closer to them?
Let me know in the comments, I love it when you share!
Have a great week. 🙂