The Olympics are a time of celebrating the accomplishments of individual athletes and teams of athletes from all around the world. They put in a tremendous amount of dedication toward their craft, and many do so already knowing that the podium is most likely out of reach. It is truly inspirational to see them succeed, but for some reason, I always feel bad about myself while watching the games.
I always think, “Damn I’m sitting here watching this and eating leftover cupcakes while that 15-year-old girl from Russia is crushing it.” Last night, during the newest slope-style event, I sat there telling Ellie that I could totally do that . . . knowing full well it wasn’t true. What is most depressing is that, at 25 years old, I would be considered middle-aged in terms of Olympians. Ugh.
I understand that I had different priorities growing up: I wasn’t dedicated to training. I didn’t wake up at 4:00 a.m. to head to the rink. And I sure as hell didn’t go out of my way to do extra physical activity. Instead, I honed my cyber-athlete reflexes in Counter Strike and WoW. And I wasn’t half-bad at either of those, if I do say so myself. But I still feel pangs of guilt at not going all-out and not dedicating more time to sports.
As I beat myself up over it last night, I realized that the only things truly separating myself, or any of us, from the Olympians competing in Sochi is time investment and drive. I am a firm believer that anyone can achieve a stellar level of physical fitness, given enough time and dedication. Knowing a bit of the genetics behind what makes us human, I know that a practically negligible amount of DNA truly separates us as individuals. It is why anyone can go from the couch to running a 5K, or even to running a Marathon, for that matter. Given enough effort, everyone can achieve what they set out to do.
Really, it comes down to where your priorities fall. I’ve made fitness more of a top priority for myself over the past two years, and many of you have as well. But recently it has fallen down in the rankings for various reasons. I suppose I should thank the Olympics for getting me me to reevaluate where I stand and to try—once again—to elevate fitness to the top of my list. Damn that 15-year-old Russian girl for making me feel guilty.