The Olympic Spirit by Dennis Schaefer
Posted on August 1st by aac
I remember watching the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games on television when I was 16 and thinking, “I would like to work hard and compete some day in the Olympics.” At the time I was a competitive swimmer and trained throughout the year. I loved to compete and would swim age group meets in the summer, high school swimming team in the winter and YMCA league in the spring. Throughout my life I have had a great deal of difficulty being a spectator; I wanted to participate. When I was 32 years old I was a spectator at a Golden Gloves boxing tournament, and the next year found me in the ring. That’s the way it has always been.
This year I am watching the Summer Olympics once again. Now, at age 61, I realize that my chances of being an Olympic athlete are pretty slim. But I still feel the Olympic Spirit and continue to seek it in everything that I do.
“What,” you might ask, “is this Olympic Spirit you speak of?” Well, I can only speak for myself, but here’s what it means to me.
1. Seek something bigger than yourself. Look beyond the boundaries of your ego, your abilities and your own self-interest.
2. Enjoy the journey, even if you don’t reach the destination. All of my preparation is a lesson.
3. Celebrate your efforts as well as your successes
4. Be generous in your competition; you get back what you give
5. As I was once told, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff.”