I used to swim in high school.
Yup, this fat kid used to be lean & mean and wreaked of chlorine.
It seems like 10 million years ago now. Spending my days in the pool, putting miles in the pool until my arms didn’t work anymore. Eating everything I could get my hands on… because… when you swim that much, you can’t keep up with your metabolism.
Oh how times have changed.
With the USA swimming phenom Michael Phelps grabbing more gold than Uncle Scrooge, it is easy to think about how it could have been me. Standing atop the platform waiting for a bald guy to hand you a big fatass gold medal… as the world watches your ever move.
Here are the reasons I fell short, and you can take them and apply them to your situations and learn a little as well.
Laziness Is NOT Next To Godliness
It is true. Sometimes I will be laying on the couch thinking to myself… I need to get outside wash my car. I lay for another 5 minutes and all of a sudden all thoughts of washing the car have escaped me and I’m enveloped by the latest episode of No Reservations on the Travel Channel. As quick as I was inspired… uninspired.
When I swam I was on top of my game… I got in, did my work and got on with life. I did what I needed to do. Plain & simple. You need me to do my 2500 yd warmup? Done. You need me to spend 20 minutes working on my open turns? Done. No procrastinating, no excuses… no Travel Channel.
If you want to do something, the first step is actually getting off your ass and getting started. You can’t become the best by sitting around watching others do it. Laziness is the most addicting drug there is. You can sit down to relax and before you know it you are 10 years deep and some other person is wearing your gold medal.
Ever-present Lack Of A Master Plan
4 years ago when Phelps got down with his run at Olympic fame, I’m sure didn’t get finished and go curl up on the couch and spend the next 3 years waiting for the next one. Although, he likely took some time off – he had a plan to get him ready for the next Olympics in Beijing. After a short break (and a drunken driving incident – ahem…) he hit the water and began to initiate his plan. He surrounded himself with positivity, people educated in his master plan – and went to work.
What is my plan? I plan on going to the lake this weekend. **shugs**
I hope we have kids someday. Hope we find a house soon.
Hope, hope, wish, pray…
nothing in stone though. MAKE A FREAKIN’ PLAN ALREADY… GEEEEEZ!
Most folks that have made it to a level that Michael Phelps has, got there with a firm stance and a well-defined plan. Hoping and wishing your way to the end isn’t going to do anything but let you down in the long run. Set goals, achieve goals and set more. Set & execute your master plan. Or master plans.
Have Fun When Everyone Else Is Wasting Time Tripping Out
This is probably the one I come closest to having right… but still I allow things to get cloudy and dreary at times. How many times already in this Olympics have you see Michael Phelps smiling into the camera – living the moment… rooting his team on… you get the picture. This dude is living it up. Of course he is winning, and who wouldn’t love to win – but part of it has to do with his spirit and positive attitude. Every interview and picture shows a happy Phelps with determination of course, but having a great time.
Why can someone with that much stress (I know, I know… he’s makin’ big money and whats so hard about that) be smiling and I’m sitting here gripin’ about my job or my house or my car? Lighten up. You could be trying to represent the US of A in a communist country while the world expects you to win 1st in every single event, even though you spend your break time between events swimming down, doing press, getting medals, warming up and trying to rest in a timezone that is totally opposite to yours. No biggie… just another day at the office right?
Quit trippin’ and start smilin’ a little more. See how that works for you.
Be A Team Player Now & Again
No one likes a “me, me… me” type of person. But everyone likes a team player. Tell me you didn’t want to hi-5 team USA when they won the 4×100 relay the other night? Tell me you didn’t want to be standing there with them and rooting for that anchor leg to come back and beat those Frenchies… you know you did. It is human nature to want to be affiliated with a group and help that group to achieve their goals.
Whether it be getting that project done by the deadline or just winning your bowling league on Tuesday night… everyone wants their team to win. There are few feelings like it when you look over and can trust your teammates and know they will do whatever it takes for the team. No feeling at all.
Of course we always have personal goals & ambitions, but we try to keep those separate from our team ones. The team comes first when it comes to the Olympics and individual fame is usually a result from a team affair. Think back at past Olympic stars like Kerri Strug or Dominic Moceanu in gymnastics and their heroics for the team. Think of that ’80 USA Hockey Team and how well-remembered they are.
You have a team. It might be your wife/husband… co-workers… friends… family. Somewhere you have a team. They trust you, support you and you should be doing the same.
Why are you not Michael Phelps? What reasons limit you to being successful and achieving your dreams/goals? We all have our faults and reasons, but with a little help we can change them. In four years… who knows, maybe you will be anchoring the 4×100 relay for the US… or maybe you will get that promotion you have your sites set on.
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