Do You Have an Olympic Dream?
Will you do the work to fulfill your dream?
As summer gets closer and closer, the Olympics in London also draw closer and closer. Athletes from all over the world will convene on the city that just hosted the Queen’s Jubilee. The Olympics are a very special event and I personally look forward to them every four years. I hope Canada does well this year, as I’m sure each of you hope that your country does well this year too.
Who are the athletes that compete in the Olympics? They are simply people. Some or many may have been blessed with a specific talent, but lots of people have been blessed with talent. These are people that have done the work most if not all of their lives, focused on their goal of competing against the best in the world. I’ve heard many stories about the training regimen for these athletes and very rarely do they get a day off. Just like you and I, they have days that they just don’t feel like doing the work, and they have days that they’re not at their best. They do the work anyway. They take the steps that are necessary to move them toward their goal. It may be baby steps one day, giant leaps another day, and they’ll even have days where they fall back a step or two. But they keep moving. Some will win a medal in their events, a few will win many medals. Many will achieve personal bests in their discipline, and all will have achieved the goal of competing against the best in the world. Bravo!
I pause to think about some of the other athletes that came so close but didn’t quite make their country’s Olympic team. Some may have gotten the utmost out of themselves and were just not destined to be there. Others may have had all the talent in the world and should have made the team, but maybe they didn’t quite have the conditioning to do the hard work necessary to take themselves over the top. And others may have simply decided that the work was a bit too much for them and they had to get on with their lives. Some may just miss out from making it this year, but will renew their commitment to make the team for the next Olympics. Regardless of the final result, each of these people put a lot of work into following their dreams, and I’m sure they learned a lot of lessons along the way.
Switching gears, I was at a presentation this week in Burlington where Chris Crowley was the guest speaker. Chris is a co-author of the book “Younger Next Year”, and it is a great read. The subtitle of the book is “Live Strong, Fit and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond”. One of Chris’s fundamental disciplines that he has adapted is to work out 6 days a week for at least 45 minutes, including 4 days of aerobic exercise and 2 days of strength training. Now Chris didn’t tell us how old he was but I heard a rumor that his age had a ‘7’ and an ‘8’ in it, and he didn’t look a day over 60, maybe even younger. For me though, the irony of his speech wasn’t that he simply “preached” an exercise routine, a lot of people do that. Chris talked a lot about how difficult it is to keep up a routine of working out that regularly. It’s very hard work. There are days you just don’t feel like doing the work and days that you’re simply not at your best. Sound familiar?
Chris went on to explain how exercising vigorously helps the blood and body move into an anti-inflammatory state. This was music to my ears, as I know that a lot of autoimmune dis-eases and other conditions result from the body being in an inflammatory state. I think it’s time for me to start focusing a bit more attentively on this exercise routine. Yup, it’s time for me to start doing that work. But back to Chris, he’s done the work and now he speaks all over the world, engaging listeners with his story in a very funny and entertaining manner. Maybe this is Chris Crowley’s Olympics. Maybe he always dreamed of being on stage telling stories. He did the work, and now he’s living the dream. And oh yeah, he continues to do the work.
I have my Olympic dream and I’ve shared it before on this blog. I will be standing on stage, talking about how my dream of healing from an autoimmune dis-ease came to pass, and how others can do the same or better yet, live their lives so that they never have to be diagnosed with any dis-ease in the first place.
I think of the work that’s in front of me. For the Olympic athletes, for Chris Crowley, and for me, diet is a very important part of the training. I’m green juicing every morning and I eat lots of veggies at each meal, at least whenever possible. I’m not perfect by any means but this is an important part of the training, and I’m committed to doing the work on a daily basis. I know my body appreciates this.
Meditation is an important part of my training as well, as it helps put the body into a relaxed condition so it can work on healing itself. Some days I find this very easy, other days it’s a bit more of a struggle, but I’m committed to this and I find a way to make it happen, even if only for a few moments.
There’s another side of me that I don’t show very often. It can be very frustrating when you know that you’re doing the work and you wonder why you’re just not getting the results. I have made bold claims about the body’s ability to heal itself, I believe in this so much. In my mind, I catch myself wondering why. Why, why, why? I’m doing the work, my belief systems are in place and I just know that my body is going to heal itself. Why not today? Why do I have to continue to go through this? Why do I continue to have pain and discomfort? Why can’t I just be healed?
I had an appointment with my acupuncturist this week. She could tell that things hadn’t been perfect this week and she could feel my frustration. She reminded me that I am on a journey, and that it would be a shame to let the frustration get the better of me after I have come so far. Things don’t just happen overnight. I thought of my oft-used swimming pool analogy. A swimming pool that is in balance will not grow algae. But when a swimming pool gets out of balance, it takes work to get rid of the algae and bring it back into balance. The human body is like that. Dis-ease is the algae, and it will take work to bring it back in to balance. It doesn’t happen immediately, it takes time.
For now I am in training. And I continue my training. And I’m doing the work. Daily. Some days it’s great, everything falls in to place and every step is a step forward. Other days it’s a struggle and I feel like throwing in the towel. And then somebody reminds me of how far I’ve come and how it would be a shame to give up on my dreams. Thanks for the reminder.
Make no mistake. I will be at my personal Olympics. I will continue to do the work. My Olympics may be tomorrow, or they may be a year from now. And I’ll be ready, because I will have done the work.
What’s your Olympic dream? Will you do the work to get you there?
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