Wow. What a couple of weeks it has been. Are you inspired? I know I am!
There just seems to have been something, lots of things, about London 2012 that has been, well, truly inspirational. From the torch relay, opening ceremony, the winners and losers, games makers, armed forces, the screen in the city centre, the amazing roar of the crowd for Team GB and other countries alike, to the fact that social media has been pretty much nothing but. Everyone seems to have been hooked – we’re all suffering with withdrawal symptoms today! There has been a real “feel good” spirit in the air.
Mo Farah said last night in his interview after he won the 10k on what was called super Saturday… “You get out what you put in“. And oh how right he is. Those sports men and women worked so hard to simply qualify for London 2012 – and while natural talent plays its part, it’s perseverance, hard work, effort and commitment that gives those at the top the edge. Mo, Jess, Greg, all of them, they concentrate, they spend all their hours with one thing in mind – doing their best, being the best.
In a way I wish I was nine or ten again – at primary school, my teacher Barry Hayden seemed to think I had something when it came to sport. I took part in district sports for my School at Brickfields in Plymouth, wearing the most itchy pair of green shorts I have ever worn (before and since!). We were number 44 – Devonport Morice Town Primary School. I could run, I could jump, I could throw. If I had watched London 2012 then I have no doubt I would have spent the whole two weeks pestering mum and dad to let me join an athletics club. Mind you I was already in gymnastics club, a drama club, went to brownies, played a musical instrument, sang in a choir, and was visiting the eye doctor regularly. Maybe if I was eight or nine I would have realised I should pick something, one thing, and do just that. Then I might be looking back now, aged 31, being good at something rather than mediocre at a lot of things. If I was nine or then the slogan “inspire a generation” would have probably been aimed at me.
But despite being 31 and being mediocre at a lot of things (including triple jump and shot put which were my athletics events of choice at school) and not very good at anything (I made my choice!), I am still inspired by what I have seen at the Olympic Games. Apart from adding a whole load more things to my list of things to do (oh how I want to have a go on a velodrome, reckon it’s what my massive thighs could have been made for!!), I feel a new sense of wanting to be better at everything that I do. Yes I know I do way too much, have far too many hobbies than is sensible, and I can’t possibly get to the top in any of them (I certainly won’t be an Olympic champion in Rio 2016), but I have a new found motivation that I want to channel into anything and everything I do decide to do. I hope it lasts.
It’s absolutely fantastic to see twitter full of people saying how proud they are of our athletes – where ever they came in their event. And it’s fantastic that people are realising that health and fitness, sporting achievement, doing our best and giving things our all are much better things to strive for than being skinny or an instant celebrity. I love how people generally wanted our athletes, and those from other countries, to do their best, to achieve. But now we have to take that unity, that community that we’ve created over the last days and keep it going. We need to be the best we can be. And help others be the best they can be.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do my best to take the Olympic spirit and do something with it. I quite like the feeling of joy and happiness when I see other people achieving their goals, exceeding expectations, being successful. I hope we have opportunities to continue to feel that joy – to witness ours and other people’s dreams come true. I hope the support of Team GB evolves into something even greater so that everyone can continue to feel pride for what themselves and other people can do.
Remember, you are the one that sets your own goals, they are your dreams. If you’ve got one you’re working towards then do share it with the people you know – then we can all encourage each other to make something of the inspiration we have felt.
Life is all about the journey. You just have to decide which direction to go in. And then work really really hard to get there.