The Summer Olympics of 2016 started in Rio this weekend. I love watching the Olympics. I find myself sitting and marveling at the amazing things our fellow human beings can do. Are you with me?
While I enjoy watching most all of the events, in particular I find myself drawn to volleyball, swimming, gymnastic, and running. Each of those events stir something personal inside of me.
I played volleyball in high school and a little bit in college (D3, rest assured I won't be leaving my blogging duties to jump back on the court). The volleyball court helped me to find my voice when I felt lost in high school and then it helped me find my voice when I felt lost on the court in college. On the court, I could play, I could laugh, I could be part of a team, and I could shine on my own. In college, it helped me find my voice off the court when I needed to reset my priorities and not play after my freshman year. The sport pushed me to connect to my voice, my truth, without me even realizing it (that's the best kind of growth). Watching volleyball serves (pun intended) as my reminder to have my voice and to speak my truth.
I love to watch swimming because it spurs me to look at my fears. I took swim lessons and did a fair amount of swimming growing up, however, I never attempting the swim team because I was too nervous about the flip swimmers do at the wall when at the end of the lap. I always got too nervous about hitting my head. Most everyone laughs at me when I admit that - shoot, I laugh at myself. I knew that swimming wasn't my real gift or strength this lifetime, so it was okay that my silly nervousness created space for me not to join the swim team. However, what that little fear picture did, and continues to do for me as I watch the Olympic swimmers move through the water with ease and grace, is teach me to go beyond the picture, to look past and see the picture behind the surface, to dive deeper, and to see the amazing freedom and flow that can follow.
I know I am not alone in my enjoyment of watching gymnastics. Everyone loves to watch people tumble and fly through the air, balance on beams, and hold themselves up with amazing strength on rings or a bar. Gymnastics awakens the child in me -- the one that believes everything is possible, the one that can see herself in a her mind's eye doing a perfect back hand spring double round off with a twist (is that a thing?) and always sticking the landing. In connecting with that childlike energy, I see myself as all children see themselves: beautiful - a perfect 10 every time.
Last on my short list, running. I never thought I would be the one glued to the television to watch a 26.2 mile race, and yet, whenever I can catch the marathon, in particular, I am there. If you know me, you know why I am drawn to it. One word: endurance. Marathoners endure. They go the distance. They are not in it for the short term. That's a match for me, folks. I am in it for the long term. Life isn't about the quick fixes, the easy outs. Life is about going the distance, seeing every turn, preparing for what's ahead while being present to keep putting one foot in front of the other, resting on the flat stretches as they come, using the course to play to your strengths, and navigating around other people along the way.
What are you seeing when watching the Olympics in Rio? Where does seeing the athletes compete guide you to new insights? What are you drawn to watch and why? I would love to hear from you!
As we do.
picture thanks to pixabay, no attribution required.