In our senior year, high school students are often invited to share an excerpt of our memories, interests and goals in the yearbook. Among a list of past events and friends' initials, I wrote "Olympics 1992." Because I was a dedicated athlete and made no secret of my dreams, everyone knew that it was my goal to make it to the 1992 Olympics to be held in Albertville, France.
Some guy had the nerve to tell me that every kid wanted to go to the Olympics and it was just a pipe dream to actually qualify. Technically, he was right. I didn't make the '92 Olympics, but it wasn't for lack of trying. But without my "pipe dream" of making the '92 Olympics, I probably wouldn't have made the '94 Olympics.
I would bet that there are some athletes like Jordyn Wieber or Allyson Felix who once had naysayers telling them their pursuit to the Games was nothing more than a lofty dream. But they will secretly be smiling as they slip into their spanking new U.S. Ralph Lauren Olympic uniform this next month. Of course it starts as a dream, but it's then taking this fantasy and turning it into a goal. It's knowing and understanding that everything is possible and believing that dreams do come true. It's telling yourself that someone is going to achieve this, why shouldn't it be me? It's letting your inner child dream and your outer adult stand against the nightmares.
I applaud the Ryan Lochtes, Justin Gatlins and Lolo Joneses for never giving up. I congratulate their parents for letting them believe these "pipe dreams" are possible. And I thank all the critics for unknowingly pushing these athletes to prove you wrong.
I'll bet that high school cynic of mine didn't make the effort to truly work toward achieving his Olympic "pipe dream." And I certainly didn't mind waiting two years to go to the Olympic Games, and waiting four more before actually winning it. I often wonder if he remembers our conversation and regrets what he said. It feels really good to have the last laugh.
I somehow think that there will be a number of Olympians in London who know this same satisfaction.
I've had the great honor of working with some of the Biggest Loser contestants and it has inspired me to leave motivational diet, health, and wellness tips at the end of all of my blogs. These tools have been driven from actual advice I've shared.
This week's tip:
Like many of the Olympians do, develop goals that stretch you but are ultimately realistic. Feed off the inspiration of the London Olympians' goal-setting. If you create a goal that is too far-fetched you will subsequently just disappoint yourself if you aren't close to it. On the other hand, if you don't push your limits then you will never reach your full potential.
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