Having just spent a week watching the rowing and swimming at the 2012 Olympics, I’ve been struck by something I’ve never really noticed or appreciated on any significant level until now—the bodies of some of these athletes. Maybe I took it for granted when we rowed that this was quite simply how all Olympic athletes looked, or should look—fit, muscular, strong, alive. I wasn’t able to appreciate the uniqueness, the beauty, the gift that is the body of an Olympian. But, now at the ripe age of 47, my perspective has changed enough that I can see the athletes that compete at these Games are truly quite remarkable. Perhaps, so much so, if Michelangelo were attending the Games in London today, he would have a hard time choosing his next David.
My shift in valuing something perhaps slightly more basic than the inspiring athleticism these athletes display reminds me of a moment I shared with an older gentleman in Philadelphia, PA earlier this spring. I was there with the crew that I was coaching while attending the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest high school regatta in the world. We were staying at a local hotel and on this one particular morning, I was up early and in the restaurant putting together my usual bowl of porridge from the buffet. When I looked around for a seat, I saw one empty beside a man who had to be in his early eighties. He smiled when he saw that I was looking for a place to sit and I took that to be a welcoming gesture to join him.
After our “Good-mornings,” he asked me why I was there. He seemed genuinely interested in my answer, and as I continued to describe the scope of the regatta and what races we would be participating in, the young men from our crew entered the restaurant. As gentlemen from his era do so easily, he looked over at them, smiled and said good morning. They returned his greeting, and we went on chatting.
As the rowers got up to leave, he looked at them one last time, put his hand on my arm and sadly said, “Look at them. Look at how beautiful they are. Youth is so beautiful—they have no idea.” I looked over at the crew—maybe I was just used to it by now, but he was right—they were big, muscular teenagers.
“Look at this! All of these damn pills.” He shook the plastic container filled with what had to be ten bottles of prescription meds in front of him. “What happens to us? Where does that youth go?”
Jason Dorland is a High-Perfomance Coach who believes the most undervalued and underutilized components of reaching our goals are the mental and emotional areas of our lives. With your commitment, Jason can help you make a positive difference in how you approach your life’s dreams and goals. Guaranteed! To find out how, contact Jason today for a free no obligation consultation. He looks forward to meeting with you and getting started soon!