Saturday, August 4, 2012

Olympic Dreams

I don’t watch much TV, because frankly, I don’t have time for it. But I make an exception for the Olympics. I’ve stayed up late and watched more TV since the opening ceremony than I probably have all year.

Why? There’s something about sensationally disciplined, hard-core, dream-driven people (egotists excepted) that makes me want to stand up and cheer.

We all have dreams. Maybe we can’t all be Olympians… or maybe we just think we can’t. It depends on your perspective and what you’re willing to do to reach your goals and dreams.
Remember when you were in school. Think back to an academic course or athletic requirement where you struggled. Did you ever say, “It’s just too hard. I can’t do that”?
I had a moment like that in college. I had managed to CLEP out of first year Spanish and jump right into the intermediate level. In my first class, the professor spoke almost entirely in Spanish. I sat at my desk thinking to myself, “What have I gotten myself into? I can’t do this.”
I met up with my professor in the cafeteria and asked him candidly if I could succeed in the class without having gone through the elementary courses.
“You can if you want to,” he said. “You’re going to have to work extra hard, but you can do it.”
And I did. I even got an A. But it wasn’t easy.
Easy isn’t a word that belongs in an Olympian’s dictionary. Pain. Disappointment. Sacrifice. Tears. Those words all belong in their books. And sometimes, so does gold.
But you can’t get to gold without all the other excruciating elements first.
That makes me wonder: What are my dreams? What I am willing to sacrifice to make them happen? As a writer, I’ve sometimes wondered if I can reach my goals or if there’s any point in trying. Getting published is an accomplishment, but will I ever be successful as a writer? Will my writing ever make a difference in someone’s life?
I won’t know if I don’t try, if I don’t fail, if I don’t make mistakes.
So maybe I’m too tall to be a gymnast and too poor a swimmer to qualify in anything but the doggy paddle (which has yet to be recognized as a swimming stroke in the Olympics).
But I can dream. I can dream big … as a writer, as a child of God designed to live a purposeful life.  And so can you.
The next summer games will be held in Rio in 2016. If you’re an athlete, you start training today – no, yesterday. Ok, so you’re not an athlete. You fill in the blanks, and figure out what your goals are and what you have to do to reach them.
Where do you want to be in four years?

No comments:

Post a Comment