With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the history books, I was riveted by the dedication of these athletes, who adjusted their training—physical and mental—because of the pandemic. They virtually upset all their carefully honed ‘timing’, putting it on ice; postponing their readiness for their peak performances for a whole year.
Clearly, we ALL have made adjustments—some much larger than others—yet the age of an athlete is often a key factor in whether they can still compete at world-class levels, in many of the competitions.
Luckily, while we non-Olympic athletes have indeed aged a year (those of us lucky enough to escape death) that additional year hasn’t otherwise negatively affected us physically, as much as it has for Olympic athletes.
I watched several dozen hours of these competitions and read back stories—all of which was so uplifting; the stories of challenges met, and goals achieved and many instances, well exceeded. Today, I highlight two particular USA Olympians in the event you may not have caught their fantastic achievements and or read some of their backstory.
The first is swimmer Katie Ledecky who took home two Golds—1,500 m & 800 m Free–and two Silvers—400m free & 4x200m free relay–in the Tokyo Olympics and has been a complete champion of her sport for decades and we expect for more many more to come. She speaks to young kids urging them to “Set big goals for yourself…and chase them.”
I’m particularly impressed with her psychology in so much as she is resolute in first setting her goals. And second, she thinks backwards from each goal, to formulate each step and strategy to achieve that goal. It seems so utterly logical, so straightforward, right?
Yet I had to ask myself as to whether I employ that same rationale, and I realize that when I do, the difference is palpable. Ms. Ledecky is an advocate of controlling what you can control…how many times have you heard that from me regarding your finances? She takes care of herself, doing all the little things right to prepare herself, down to the all-important close shave the night before each race.
I invite each of us to stay laser focused on our goals, and use ALL the energies from within, and from our friends and supporters, to bring home our own personal goal’s Gold!
Bobby Finke captured two Golds at the Tokyo Olympics–800 m free and the 1500 m free. And the way in which he turned on an extra level of performance, fueled by something deep within him, in that last lap split was nothing short of jaw-dropping excellence!
Most of us have assumed many different roles during this pandemic and taken on additional roles when heretofore we thought our schedule was already packed to the gills. Perhaps we can take some encouragement from Mr. Finke and believe in ourselves that we still have some kick left in us to not only finish, yet to finish strong, and win.