For today’s #MotivationMonday, I wrote this post which was inspired by this year’s Olympic games.
There are three stories that I wanted to share you with that truly inspired me from this year’s Olympic games, and I hope they can inspire you as well. I had MANY takeaways from the Olympics, but these were three stories that literally brought me to tears.
Aly is a 22 year old gymnast from the US – if you watched any of this summer’s games or the last summer games, you’re probably aware of this. She had won two gold medals in the team and floor competitions in the last 2012 Olympic games, and was favored to also medal in the all-around individual competition. She ended up tying Aliya Mustafina of Russia for the third place bronze medal, getting exactly the same score of 59.566. In the tie breaker, Raisman lost to Mustafina, and received fourth place, not medaling at all… I can’t even imagine what she was feeling in that moment.
Aly and her coach tell the story of her comeback to the 2016 games.
in 2014, Aly’s coach, Mihai Brestyan, told her that she couldn’t use any of the equipment in the gym, “you can look all you want, but you can’t touch.” And she didn’t, for months. Her coach turned his back on her in the gym to see if she was really serious about making a comeback in 2016. She worked her ass off to prove to him that she wanted a spot on the team and didn’t give up. She showed up to the gym every single day (I kid you not, 7 days a week). He put her through grueling plyometric and cardio workouts to test her limits and see how serious she was about going to Rio.
Every single day she proved to her coach that she was ready and she explains that though she wanted to quit multiple times, she couldn’t let her dream die.
Fast forward to the Rio Olympic games 2016, after an incredible floor routine performance in the individual all-around, the same event that she fell short to Mustafina in 2012, Aly Raisman surpassed expectations and pulled ahead, taking the first place spot. She completed her routine on the floor and immediately burst into tears. I literally started crying watching this… She ended up taking the silver second place medal to her teammate Simone Biles, who took gold, but nonetheless, achieved her dream and made every day in the gym practicing worth it. Her routine was OUTSTANDING.
This man is defending Olympic champion Mo Farah from Great Britain. Mo is a distance runner and was competing in the men’s 10,000m distance run in the 2016 Olympics when he tripped and fell onto the track, getting jumped over and passed by the other runners, sending him back to nearly last place.
But, despite the fact that you would think that he would give up – he’s already in last place, how could he possibly come back and medal from that fall… He doesn’t quit. He gets up and continues to run to reclaim the ground he’d lost from falling.
In the last 200 meters of the race, Mo passed the leader, and runs through the finish line, and win first place, securing his gold medal, and defending his title as Olympic 10,000m champion for the second time.
Here’s the video in case you missed it.
If you don’t know who Michael Phelps is, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past 15 years, nonetheless, here’s his story.
Michael Phelps first began his Olympic journey in 2000 when he was only 15 at the Sydney, Australia games, and has since competed in every Olympic games since, though he didn’t medal in Sydney.
It’s no secret that after the 2012 London games, Michael Phelps fell off the wagon, so to speak, and found himself in trouble with DUI charges, the title of an alcoholic, and questioning whether he wanted to continue living. He explained those who interviewed him that he had undoubtedly hit rock bottom and didn’t know how to help himself out. He spent 45 days in rehab to get clean before returning to training, wanting to make a comeback at the 2016 Olympics.
He looked like he hadn’t missed a beat watching him swim this time around. He ended his Olympic career with 5 golds and one silver medal for the 2016 games.
He is now regarded as the greatest swimmer in the world and most decorated Olympic champion in history, with 23 gold medals to date.
What do these people have in common?
Why am I sharing these stories with you? All three of these individuals were all faced with extreme circumstances and chose not to give up. Each one of these people had the odds stacked against them and they returned stronger. What if Mo never got up after falling because he thought in his head that because he fell and was behind, that he’d already lost? What if Michael Phelps let his addiction consume him and never came back for the Olympic games? What if Aly gave up trying to prove to her coach that she could make a comeback in the 2016 Olympic games because he was pushing her too hard?
These stories have inspired me SO much.
Fear of failure isn’t failure until you let it keep you from trying. Giving up is the true failure. Giving all you have even when the going gets tough and pushing through the hard times is what breeds success.
These people have proved that. They have heart. And they hustled day in and day out to get to that spot. Nothing was handed to them. They had to earn it. Every moment. They could have been afraid that they wouldn’t make it, or wouldn’t perform well, and they could have let that stop them – I’m sure everyone in America would have understood that, but they didn’t. They defied the odds against them, and even through all of the immense pressure to perform and win, they put everything on the line and did their best. And in these stories, their best was enough.
Let these stories inspire you too. Let them inspire you to go out and do what you’re afraid to do, put yourself out there, work hard for what you want, and don’t let anything deter you from getting to where you want to be.
Because like the saying goes, “you just can’t beat someone who never gives up.”
How were you inspired by this year’s Olympics? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading and happy Motivation Monday and have a great and inspired week, ya’ll!