Olympic Lessons Lookback


by: Mark Lamb

1. The Definition of Athlete is Diverse- During the Olympics Opening Ceremonies as countries paraded through, my friend Joe and I were trying to guess what game people participated in. Some were easy-- gigantic tall = basketball. But some people looked more like they could win at a Cheetos eating competition quicker than any Olympic Game. But each person that walked through was an athlete-- regardless of shape or perception.

2. Not Many People Win- Can you name any sport where you know the bronze medal winner, besides an American? I am reminded that in competition, not many people win. Way more people fail than win gold.

3. Glory Fades Fast- When Michael Phelps finished 4th in his first race, the conversation was his lack of training. He looked disgraced and frustrated. His glory had faded in a race, even though he would get it again a couple days later. But I couldn't help but think, "he finished 4th… in the entire world!" Glory can't be determined by a judge or media. If we let that define a win for us, it will fade fast.

4. Process is the Reward I'm Seeking- Like I wrote earlier, not many people win and glory fades fast, so why participate. Former NFL QB Brad Johnson once said that he had to "concentrate on the process not the outcome." And he went on win a Super Bowl. The 16 year old American swimmer was asked about what it felt like to win the gold medal, and she kept talking about how much she loved the water. Proves to me that the process is where the love it found-- not the medal stand.

Mark is a creative, an instigator, and humorist living in Athens, GA. He has served with Connect Ministries as the leader of the WinShape Camps Experience Team for sometime. He is a reluctant runner-- only running with others because he always quits and sides with snacks when fronted with running alone. Mark likes to call himself a "marathoner" since he completed one.  Follow Mark on twitter @marktlamb