A most wonderful sporting weekend
I awoke this morning (Sunday 5th August) with a sense of awe and wonderment. I spent most of yesterday watching the Olympics, a day called ‘Super Saturday’, a day which turned into possibly the greatest day in British sport. A day that Britain won 6 Gold medals, narrowly lost out on another and Andy Murray got into his second tennis final of the Games; from when I first wrote this he won Gold and Silver in the tennis, Ben Ainslie won a 4th gold and we won another silver. What a weekend! The only let down was the Team GB football team who lost to Korea on penalties. How predictable. I hope it’s a weekend that does inspire a nation, I doubt it though; it won’t take long for this euphoria to die away and we let life creep back in. The football season will start and the great majority of people will forget the exploits of Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis and got back to what they know: the Premiership, talking about the Euro crisis and various soap operas.
The difference between the inspired and the rest
This euphoria is exactly what motivation is all about, seeing something, being inspired by someone to make you want to do something different with your life. Unfortunately motivation doesn’t last, so will these Olympics leave the legacy that Seb Coe has talked about ever since we won won the right to host them? The beauty is that it will, just not in the great mass of the population. The great mass will do what the great mass always does, struggles and moans; blames the Government and everyone else for their problems. It’s the same around the world, people blame everyone but themselves. It’s the champions (in any sector) who stand up and do something they believe in. It’s why we admire champions so much; they make us believe that anything is possible. The truth is that champions are often not the people we are. They strive, they suffer, they are single-minded, dedicated, they put themselves through unbelievable pain (did you see the British rower who won bronze – Alan Campbell – who was so exhausted at the end of his race that Sir Steve Redgrave had to help him to a chair?), but most of all they are courageous, inspiring and set the bar for their level of performance. Ordinary people don’t do that. They find excuses, reasons to fail, problems to put in their way, as if the champions never have these challenges. Jess Ennis didn’t compete in the Beijing Olympics because she had a broken foot, Sir Steve Redgrave overcame his challenges with diabetes, I don’t think Daley Thompson ever went into a championships without being injured. We have no idea what goes on in these people’s private lives, all we see is the pinnacle, the moment of greatness.
My point is be inspired, do something that changes your life. Get out of the rot, the cycle, the miasma of life. Learn from these Games and take away all that is good. Forget that the Games are sponsored by the worst foods (McDonalds and Coca-Cola) and set yourself new goals. I’m highly competitive and hate losing, but that doesn’t mean I stop trying, it means I do my best and if I fail then I know I’m further along than I was. I’m too old to be an Olympian or even to compete in the sport that took me to 3 World Championships and 2 European Championships, but I’m not too old to get into great shape, build a world class business or develop a fabulous relationship. Greatness comes in many forms: art, writing, films, sport, business, love, education, dance and music (amongst others); if you want it you can get it too. To be an Olympian requires vision, dedication, support, finances, hard work, but mostly it require belief. A belief not shaken by what Kim Kardashian did, or how much Wayne Rooney earns or what Simon Cowell thinks. In the end it all comes down to you, what you want and what you are willing to do. Team GB I salute you. Thanks for the inspiration.