I am not a sports fan at all. But, if you saw me this past week with my nose glued to the TV as I jumped and hooted for my favorites in the Olympic games or cringed when they faltered, you might think otherwise.
As I watched the athletes, I was fascinated by how they work under pressure. What’s behind their game face? What makes them push beyond their fears to achieve their dream of winning the gold? It’s true writers are people watchers, but we usually observe ordinary people going through a normal day doing every day stuff. We make up back story for these people and what’s going to happen next. But it’s usually all in our head.
Clearly, each athlete has their own back story about how they got to the London Olympics. Watching the games, I can easily see a story unfolding for each participant I have picked to follow. And it happens right before my eyes every high tension point, the dark night of the soul and the climax. It’s thrilling, because nothing is hidden and it’s real life.
Think of it, you have worked for years, probably every waking hour of your life for a single moment of glory. Then because of bad luck, the will of the Gods, having a bad day, a wrong position, the sun in your eyes, the wind against you…whatever, your hope is dashed. Gone. Your world comes to an abrupt stop. But, you have one more chance to change the outcome. Redemption is possible. Your muscles know the routine, it’s all up to your mindset. Will you cave to the emotions of the earlier loss or triumph over yourself and your opponents to become a legend. These are all elements that make for an emotional ride in a good story. And without any gimmicks, I am hooked and competing in the games.
Needless to say, I’m in awe of these Olympians. The games are more than competitive sports it’s about the courage to be the best. Personally, I think modeling their power of discipline, dedication and mindset can help anyone to be the best they are meant to be. One of my favorite quotes from Galaxy Quest is “Never give up. Never surrender.” I can see the champions have taken this thought to heart.
Till next time,