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The Olympic Spirit: A Gold in Passion

Joined: 7/21/2013
Posts: 4
I have no Olympic aspirations. Never have.
To be honest, it’s probably because I am so fully aware of how much work goes into these careers; up before 5 and down when your body is long past expired seems like a battle every day, and that’s not a war I want to fight.
I have no Olympic aspirations. I don’t foresee a future in which I can dedicate every atom of my existence to a single goal.
I don’t think that matters.
Why is it that I watch hours of figure skating, or hold my breath for downhill skiing, when I don’t even understand the intricacies of the event? Why do I find myself cheering for the underdog – the oldest competitor, the hero who clawed their way back from career-ending injuries – regardless of country?
The way I see it, the Olympics are a competition in passion. Everyone starts out with some degree of raw talent, sure, but the medalists are not the kind of athletes to roll out of bed at 11 and decide that they’re good enough, no practice necessary. The victors are the ones who continuously push their bodies to the breaking point, to dangerous extremes, because they are wholeheartedly devoted to the furthering of their skills and successes.
It’s humbling to watch.
It’s motivating.
I know myself well enough to recognize that the Olympics are not in the cards for me. The thing is, though, the Olympics are sort of like a metaphor – and I think I can do that.
There are things that I am truly passionate about, that I would work my wrist into carpal tunnel to chase. It’s easy to forget this. Life picks you up and shakes you around until you don’t know which way you were headed to begin with, and sometimes, you just lose your way.
It’s strange to suggest that the Olympics are a lighthouse for me, but it’s true. These are people who drop everything to compete; who fit in practices around a job and family life; who ignore the severity of broken ribs and shattered bones, because they recognize that nothing has the right to hold you back but yourself.
I think that’s the true message of the games. Corruption and cardboard hotels aside, the Olympics are a bastion of active dreamers, a rare thing in this world. It’s always been easy to dream, but to act – that is where my troubles lie. I guess something about those five rings reminds me that I have to seek my future. Imagining it will only get me so far.
I don’t need Olympic aspirations; I’m just shooting to live that metaphor.
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