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Just One Thing To Do This Week: Go For Your Gold

on February 15, 2018 - 8:47am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

Meeting day-to-day expectations can be challenging. The sense of accomplishment in doing what needs to be done to successfully manage home and work and family is demanding enough for most of us. And then, there are the Olympians.

Many of us are enthralled by the Olympics. We watch the athletes twirl, skate, glide, and spin as they reach for Olympic gold. I come from a large family—meaning a family of very large people—and we consider the act of walking without falling to be an accomplishment. We are not coordinated. And yes, I am speaking on behalf of about 40 of us, brother and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews.

My sisters and I have eight offspring between us. And male or female (the shortest male is 6’4”) none of them played high school sports. And oddly enough, after watching our kids in freshman year P.E., the coach never encouraged them to try-out. Weird, huh?

So back to the Olympians. I think I am most intrigued by their single-mindedness, and what would have to be the single-mindedness and like-mindedness of their entire support system, their family and their coaches. These athletes and their families give everything they have to achieve their Olympic goal.
Many years ago some friends adopted a boy from Columbia. They already had three kids at home and Oscar was now the youngest. While Oscar was living on the streets in Columbia, he played soccer all day every day. And as it turns out, he was quite a soccer prodigy.

Within a year after moving to the United States he was on a national team. His new brothers and sister had to give up their swim team to accommodate his schedule, and his new mother left her job to travel the country with Oscar.

It took some time and an awful lot of money, but eventually they all lived happily ever after. As an adult Oscar returned to Columbia and played professionally for the national team and competed for the World Cup.

My point is, yes, the athlete is gifted, hardworking, talented, and determined, but the athlete is surrounded by a committed support system that shares the same goal. The athlete is surrounded by people who give up their own dreams and aspirations to see them succeed. That is a pretty heavy burden for a single athlete to carry, and it would make it nearly impossible for them to quit, when so many have given them so much.

Watching these athletes can inspire, excite, and energize. It makes us realize what is possible if we rally a team to for a common cause. I know I am now motivated and I intend to claim my victories where ever I can find them.  Every morning when I pull myself out of bed, I will stand and raise my arms in the air as if I have landed a perfect dismount off the parallel bars. Some days, just getting out of bed can be a win.


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