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We all have our Olympics to compete

Published 10:34pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It only occurs every four years; eyes are glued to the television for days, even weeks. It is the one event that brings the entire world together. It is the Olympics.

Athletes from all over the world (every nation, culture, and creed) gather in one place to compete in the sport in which they love. They are just like us. The only difference is they have taken the talent that they have been blessed with and enhanced it through rigorous training over the years. So each country’s best athlete competes to prove to the world that they are the best. When we consider all that Olympians endure just to compete, it reminds us of life.

Like the Olympics, life is a sport; we must train, we have spectators, and we have rules and rewards.

Over the past week, we have been glued to the television watching the gymnastics and aqua sports. We have been impressed by the gymnastics of Gabby Douglas and the swimming of Michael Phelps, only to name a couple. And although I have enjoyed watching those events, I have been patiently waiting to see track and field.

Most of us would consider long distance running to be a mile, but that is only for the amateurs. For these Olympic runners, a mile is only a warm up. Of course, there are various distances for running. Sprinters have the 100, 200, and 400 meter race while long distance runners run distances such as the 1,500 or 3,000 meter.

In life we often wish everything was just a short sprint, quick and easy. However, life is more like a marathon; it’s a long and difficult race. Many enter a marathon, but it’s another thing to actually finish the race. There are runners who “hit the wall.” This is when the runner basically runs out of gas. Life is full of “hit the wall” experiences such as failures and setbacks.

Furthermore, those who compete in the Olympics go through years of strenuous and challenging training. Many athletes dedicate their whole lives to just one particular event. To be able to endure such training, these athletes must be tough physically and mentally; so it is in life. We must have the mental fortitude to endure the hardships that occur in our lives. If we can withstand the challenges of life, we can compete with the best of those in the world for the prize.

Like the Olympics, in life there are spectators who watch the athletes perform and perhaps cheer them on. All of us need cheerleaders encouraging us throughout our lives. Think about it, what would life be like if no one ever encouraged us, told us how good of a job we’re doing, or that we can make it. It would be hard to function and compete in life. But it is not good to just have cheerleaders, we must encourage others as well.

Finally, the goal of every Olympian is to win the gold, but some athletes have to settle for the silver or bronze.

For others, just being in the race is considered a “win” all by itself. We cannot just look at life like winning a medal. But we must look at the reward of just being able to compete.

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