Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Eye on the Prize

I have to confess that I'm watching an awful lot of TV right now.  You see, I am an Olympic nut.  I have a passion for the Olympics that is difficult to explain.  Somehow, I am reduced to tears by events that I'm not even all that interested in.  But two nights ago, a young mogul skier, Alexandre Bilodeau, from Canada raced to the gold in honor of his older brother, who is afflicted with Cerebral Palsy.  Alexandre said that on the days when he just didn't feel like training or when things just felt too tiring, he would think of his brother, who is confined largely to a wheelchair.  "My best friend and brother can't walk. How would I feel if I were him?" Alexandre would ask himself.  He said that he wouldn't even be an Olympic contender without the inspiration of his brother. 

This, my friends, is what the Olympics is all about for me.  Inspiration.  Pushing onesself to excel, especially when it feel hard, impossible, or futile.  Even though I'm never going to be an elite athlete, I realized that there are lessons that I can learn from these young and genetically rare people: we are all special and not that different from one another.  You know what seperated the Gold medalist from the fourth place finisher in the men's alpine skiing race?  0.21 seconds.  We make a lot of winners and "not" winners, but really, they're so close as to be statistically insignificant.  It's nice to get a medal, and maybe that motivation helps to push through the pain and discomfort of training, but really the honor is in the journey, not the podium.  I find myself asking, "Am I doing my best today?"  "Am I bringing dignity and honor to myself through my actions?"  In my own way, I am in training to be an Olympian of my life, through my community, by being a good Friend, Mother, Wife, and person.  So in a wierd way, being on the couch, watching TV for a couple of hours each night, I am inspired to better myself.  It's not often that I could say that!

And I leave you now with a new little Cowgirl Wallet that I custom made recently.  I liked it so much, I made extras for my Etsy and Artfire shops!


Kristina Sostarko said...

It's not often that we can say we feel like we better ourselves through watching TV, but I totally get your post. You always have this wonderful way of making things make sense, and bringing them to the surface in a thoughtful, and gently provocative kind of way. I'm asking myself how I better myself now! ha ha ha. Love your little purse too. You're a star! xo

Colleen MacDonald said...

Oh Thanks, Kristina. I sorta went on a ramble there, but I appreciate you sticking with me!

vadjutka said...

It was a beautiful post - truly inspiring, thanks so much!
*weaving from across the ocean*

Victoria said...

This post, with your beautiful words and insights, blows me away. You inspire me to want to be a better person. Thank you, Colleen. xo