I love the Olympics. Whether it is the Winter or Summer Games I find myself glued to the television from start to finish. I love the stories that unfold during the Games, the stories of athletes overcoming obstacles, athletes who make history, athletes who miss their glory by seconds and inches, the heartaches and the celebrations and as spectators we never know what is going to happen in the two weeks while we are cheering on all of our athletes who are representing our country.
So many moments will be remembered from this year's games: Canada’s first (and perhaps only) gold medal won by Rosannagh MacLennan, Michael Phelps making history by becoming the most decorated Olympian in history, Canadian Women's Soccer becoming Canada's first team since 1936 to win a medal at the Summer Games. However, the athlete that has inspired me most at these Olympics is Paula Findlay () (), Canada’s 23 year old triathlete, who had high hopes of a best performance this year in London. After spending much of the past year rehabilitating from injury she felt as though she was ready for these Games and ready to prove herself on the Olympic stage. She proved herself alright, but not in the way she had hoped. Click here to read about Findlay and click here to watch her heartbreaking apology.
I always tell my athletes - if it is easy well then everyone would do it. We all cherish the races where we face few challenges, but we finish those races as the same person we were when we started them. We always remember these races as they give us our best times and our best place finishes but it is the competitions where we are challenged and pushed to our maximums that we talk about forever.
Paula Findlay, she could have easily given up after her first lap of the run but that was the easy choice and would have instantly relieved the pain that she was suffering. But when we choose the easy way out we always wonder "what if" and the pain that was so easily wiped out lingers for days, months and years as regret.
We have all been there, a time when we wanted to give up and we all, at one point, have given in. But it is when we do not give in that we see how strong we really are.
When you hear that little voice in your head telling you to stop, telling you it is too cold to go outside for a run or you are too tired to go to the gym, ask yourself what is going to make you feel better at the end of the day: pushing yourself or giving up because I am sure all Paula Findlay wanted to do was pull herself out of her race and place her head between her knees in defeat. Instead she pushed herself to keep her feet moving and after 3 more laps of pain and suffering she finished her race in last place, but to a crowd welcoming her home as if she had won. This may not have been the result she had hoped for but I am sure, with time, she will look at this experience and be thankful it happened as it did as it is going to shape her into a stronger person who is never willing to give up.