My weekend began with tears stinging my eyes, a trembling lip, a pounding in my heart, a familiar tune echoing in my ear, and an understanding that if you truly believe, have a sprinkling of talent, and work hard at every turn, dreams can become reality.
I Love The Olympics.
I anticipate it, and even before the flame is lit, I am prone to sudden outbursts of emotion. In fact, if you run into me at any random moment between the games and ask me about it, you’re likely inviting a monologue of sorts that yes, may involve passionate, awe-inspired tears.
I am first mesmerized by the innate talent the athletes possess, humbled by the sacrifice years of training requires, awestruck by the will, the desire, the tenacity, perseverance, and sheer determination it takes each athlete to get that far.
I suppose at the heart of it I am also an idealist-dreamer. I love the idea that the world can come together, can function in peace and enjoy each other; embrace our differences in culture with mutual respect and admiration. I am drawn in by the behind-the-scenes look at the athletes they focus on, and as so many stories are forged with an underlay of struggle, strife, and obstacles overcome, my heart is truly stolen, and born somewhere deep within me is a desire to be better.
I love the camaraderie that is evident among athletes one moment and the fierce spirit of competition that drives them past their mates the next.
I LOVE the emotion that is embraced when they’ve given their all, when the medalist takes the podium and their flag is raised, how if ever there were words to be sung with a community of people behind you, it is those of your country’s anthem.
All those years of early alarms ringing, miles on the tires to get to practice, track meets, swim competition or volleyball games, not to mention the cost of sport. The sacrifices a parent makes to see their child’s dream become a reality. All that work, all the sweat, the blisters, the torn muscles and abuse a body can take. It’s all worth it, not only for the athlete who now is the proud host of some precious metal, but also to the world, to everyone who takes a minute to indulge in their dreams gone by.
Is it possible to not be inspired? To not be challenged? To not try to do better ourselves? To push ourselves just a little bit further when we believe we’ve reached the limit?
When was the last time you dreamed big and really believed it could be?
So my question is: what or who inspires you?