Friday, August 3, 2012
Goin' for the Gold
But one thing I have heard time and again during the Olympics is the phrase ‘not expected to medal.’ I hear it in the media, and even the athletes say it – about themselves! The phrase can be heard in the days of hype leading up to the games – even before the athlete’s plane has landed. Can’t everyone show a bit of positivity?
Many sports’ final outcomes are based on stats, finishing times, previous competition standings, and so forth. Having a healthy perspective on competition is important, though, and not mentally preparing for a loss can be detrimental to the athlete. Being mature, sportsmanlike and level-headed about competition is important – no one likes a sore loser.
But it’s a fine line between setting oneself up for disappointment, being realistic, and speaking negatively.
You just never know.
Realistic, rational thinking is important – preparing for a loss is necessary. But waking up thinking negative thoughts in the days leading to the contest results would get me nowhere. Doing nothing else but pacing and waiting would eventually turn me into Rick-stalker; an unhealthy and unproductive (and illegal) way of being.
The armchair athlete I am may not know everything about the psychology of sports. And maybe there is more to the phrase ‘not expected to medal.’ But if you ask me, it doesn’t sound very positive. In this age of promoting positive thinking and well-being with books, tapes, motivational speakers and framed positive sayings for your living room wall, you would think everyone, especially the athletes with their coaches paid to motivate them, would know better.
If I walked around all day saying I am ‘not expected to publish,’ or I am ‘not expected to write anything anyone likes,’ well then – I never will. If you don’t give yourself half a chance at something – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be entering contests - why bother doing what you love in the first place? Do it because you love it.
No matter what you do, expect to medal – go for the gold. Give yourself a chance to improve and surpass your own standards. Think and speak positively. And while you’re doing that, I will keep writing and dreaming of a date with Rick Springfield – because, you just never know.
Thanks for reading,