Oh my, it’s happening, I’m experiencing full blown Olympics withdrawal.
Every four years I cancel all social plans, hit the gym as if I’m on Team USA and literally feel mentally high, all thanks to this glorious event.
I’ve been obsessed with those five rings since I was little, and while a lot has changed since my first Summer Olympics memories in Seoul, South Korea, I can honestly say that Rio was the most inspiring by far.
Team USA took home so much bling and the #BlackGirlMagic that graced the podium time after time was truly exhilarating to witness.
I honestly have no idea what to do with myself now that it is over. However I couldn’t let the memories go undocumented. And while I could’ve banged out 16+ highlights, these three have been key to me.
So may the sweat and the glory behind this story fuel you with hope as we continue to train and win in this endurance race called life!
Consistency Is Key
Four plus years of hard work, all for one shot. Let that sink in. I can’t think of anything I’ve trained for in fitness longer than a year (expect for the NYC Marathon). So when I interviewed Team USA’s Track Diva Natasha Hastings two years ago and she was talking about qualifying for Rio, I was like, “Wow, this is commitment.” And here we are. She did it! To watch her not only fulfill her dream but kill it, was beyond unbelievable. I nearly lost my voice cheering her on from my apartment in Harlem! So while I can’t relate to training for years for one event I can relate to this feeling in life. We all can. We may not be able to describe it, but we are all essentially “working” for one goal. To live the life we were created to live. Some of us know what our destiny is and some are desperately searching for it (more on this in the fall). However all of us are working hard for at least one thing. So don’t worry how long it takes, because when you truly believe it’s yours, it is not a matter of “if” it will happen, it is a matter of “when.” Stay consistent and be ready for that one shot whenever it may come.
What If You’re The First
While there were tons of memories that will forever live in my heart from the Rio Summer Olympics, Simone Manuel’s gold in the Women’s 100m freestyle was everything. Her interview after becoming the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming was so inspiring. She thanked those who came before her and inspired those to come. And while I thought about my friend Kelley, who too dreamed of being the first, I knew she was celebrating this victory in a special way. “I could feel all across the country all the black swimmers who grew up with me and before me, who were good, who had a dream to be great, and for a moment Thursday night, we all won gold,” she says in the incredible article she wrote for The Salt Collective. To know her personally made me think – no dream is ever pursued in vain. Our commitment to our dreams inspires others to pursue theirs, and when one of us wins, we all win because life is a group experience.
I love the moment before any event when the camera zooms in on the Olympian’s eyes. The focus is real and I could watch this golden moment over and over again. Especially because the older I get the more I realize that my ability to keep my mind at rest is what leads to my best. I learned this in acting, in fitness, and try to apply this in my relationships, work life etc. The mind is powerful. These athletes are so focused and so confident in their training that once the big moment comes they are able to mentally surrender and therefore physically excel. We saw it time and time again over those sixteen days. Athletes breaking their own records on the track, in the pool and beyond. There was a lightness to their performance that I know is connected to their mental surrender. I know this because I have been channeling this power in my runs this year and have learned that the more relaxed I am the faster I can run. Forcing nothing changes everything. I’m grateful for this realization and look forward to applying this mental surrender to other areas in my life.
Thank you Summer Olympic Games Rio 2016 for the inspiration!
What was your favorite Olympic moment? Let me know below.