Gold, Silver, Bronze, Last: Olympics Reflection

The Olympics have ended and athletes have returned home with medals, stories and memories.  We watched many, many hours of the Olympics and enjoyed seeing the many young athletes compete with true grace.  It was amazing to see the poise and sportsmanship that was demonstrated day after day.

I don’t think of myself as athletic, yet I’ve accomplished some incredible things.  I’ve cycled across the country, run a marathon and a half marathon and many shorter races, and kayaked, climbed… but never competitively.  At least not in my mind…I don’t think “athletic”.

We had many discussions throughout the Olympics about winning… Athletes that cried on the podium when they won Silver or Bronze because they wanted Gold.  And what of the athletes that didn’t make it to the podium?

The marathon I ran was the Warwick Marathon.  I had planned to run a half marathon that day and was using it as part of a training plan run.  I reached the 15 mile mark and kept going.  By the 18 mile mark there were people on the sidelines saying just 6 more miles, and my mind kicked in, saying — ‘you can do this, you can run the whole thing, you’re almost there’.  Well, 6 miles is far, it took alot of self talk and I finally crossed the finish line.  The crowds were gone, in fact most of the people were gone.  But I finished.  I was the last runner (walker) to cross the finish line.  The race folks cheered, they gave me a medal and now MANY years later, I still have that medal.   I could have felt bad. I came in last.  BUT, I know that I came in before all of the people that quit that day and there were many that didn’t finish.  I know that I have a medal that says I ran a marathon — that’s 26.2 miles and there are many people that have never and will never do that. I did.

Celebrating accomplishments is so important.  And it was sad to see OLYMPIANS crying when they accomplished SO much.  They are Olympians and most of us CANNOT say that!!  At our house, we think they should each receive a medal that says “Olympian 2012” because that is an incredible accomplishment and a memory to treasure forever.  Everyone would walk around with medals and celebrate each other.  And yes, there would still be a few wearing Gold, or Silver or Bronze and we would still all celebrate their great performance.

I don’t know if I will ever run another marathon but I am glad that I did.  I know that I can accomplish great things and that I have a powerful mind that can overcome great obstacles.  There is learning in accomplishments.  I hope that each Olympian treasures their incredible accomplishment and celebrates it!

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