The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart. (Mencius, Chinese philosopher 372-289 BC)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Inspired by the Olympics - Be The Best

"Anything's possible ... It's just hard work and grafting." (Farah wins the 5000m)
Photo from The Sun
The Olympics is over!

For 16 days my family and I have been glued to the exploits of the athletes of the world as they have shown us just what the human spirit is capable of. We have oohed at the speed of Usain Bolt, aahed at the courage of the Boxers, Judo and Taekwondo players and welled up as the national anthem filled the stadiums over and over again.

The moment that hit home for many Team GB fans was the evening of the second Saturday as Somali refugee Mo Farah, gold medallist already in the 10,000m, pulled away from the chasing pack and raised his arms in startled jubilation to add the Gold in the 5,000 to his collection. Steve Cram, commentating on the race for the BBC summed it up in one word "Beautiful."

Mo's story is inspirational on so many levels. That a boy can come from nothing to be double Olympic champion speaks to anybody who has ever had a dream or has aspired to be better. He has always been a talented athlete but hit his peak relatively late in his career because it is only in the run up to the London Olympics that he has begun to make the sacrifices necessary to reach the top. He puts his success down to "hard work and grafting."

Inspired to be the Best

Now I am 42 I have finally admitted to myself that I may never become an Olympian after all. My days as a track cyclist are over, my dreams of sailing glory are unlikely (I suffer from sea sickness) and my loosening six pack makes the beach volleyball an unattractive proposition. However, I have been inspired by these Olympics and I wanted to log it here to remind myself - when the days get longer, the telly gets better and life gets harder (usually at the beginnning of November) - just what I wanted to be better at.

I have resolved to be the best that I can be.

The best Dad I can be.
The best Husband I can be.
The best Son I can be.
The best Brother I can be.
The best Friend I can be.

I think the key to this aim will be TIME - or rather the wise use of time.

I know that I waste time - on the internet, on TV, on displacement activities, on watching the world go by - so that will be the main area where I will need to make Farah- type sacrifices so that I can put more time into the people that matter most.

I will also need to put OTHERS FIRST - as you grow up and acquire more life roles it becomes more difficult to strike the right balance (particularly when you stir work into the mix) - and give those important people the time they deserve.

Finally, I also need to do stuff for MYSELF - which sounds contradictory I know - but when you want to give to others it is also important to give to yourself. I don't think all of us fathers do enough for ourselves because of the competing demands we face. So, I have resolved to get fit (9 mile bike ride yesterday) and get back in touch with friends I have lost contact with.

So, the Best Me starts now. I will let you know how it goes.

Have you been inspired by the Olympics? Do you face these same challenges? Do you have any advice for me?

Speak soon

PS - One of the most important legacies of the London Olympics has been for women in sport. For the first time ever, every country sent at least one female athlete to the games. It is particularly significant for Britain because of the superb performances of our female athletes. As a father of 2 girls I will be celebrating this SOON.

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