Act Like An Olympian In Your Own Life

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Since the snow continues to accumulate here in Iowa I thought I would try my luck at skiing on Saturday. My niece wanted to ski and Bob’s nephew wanted to snowboard and because they still think of me as the hip and crazy aunt who will try anything, I could not disappoint them.

I’m not really sure why I thought I could ski since I haven’t been on skis in over 20 years and I’ve never once had a lesson. Maybe it’s the subliminal messages the Winter Olympics athletes are sending us to get out and act like an Olympian in our own lives.

By attempting to ski I learned about myself, fear, fun, and falling down. As much as I like to think I’m able to listen to my body’s wisdom, my head hijacks whatever is attempting to communicate through my extremities at the first sign of danger.

In my case, this happened as soon as I slid by boots into the skis and attempted to maneuver over to the bunny hill. The ability to put one foot in front of the other without falling over suddenly became a monumental task.

What was I thinking?” became the only thing I was thinking. Until I fell and then, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” became the predominant thought.

Take off your skis!” Kat advised as I pondered how my knees and feet might work in unison with skis pointed in opposite directions.

You can do it!” Brad encouraged.

And I did.

After a successful run down “Rookie’s Ridge“, I moved on to the “green” hill where I wiped out a couple of times and skied right into a snowbank.

I think it takes most people 3-5 minutes to ski that slope. I’m pretty sure it took me 35.

Come on, Pen! Try going a little faster,” the young ones quipped.  It sure seemed like I was moving at top speed when I skied into the snow bank.

Luckily Kat and Brad were more patient than I ever expected them to be.  They even acted like they knew me when I came careening into the chairlift area.

Did I have a fabulous time? A humbling time would be more like it.

In my mind, I still believe I’m their age. It always shocks me when my body reminds me this is no longer the case.

But courage begets courage. I’m not sure I would have even agreed to try this had I not just started a mastermind group called Practicing Everyday Alchemy and been buoyed by the support and faith of a fearless group of amazing alchemists.

Every Olympian has an entire team behind them encouraging, supporting, training, and seeing them through their toughest and most glorious moments. Why wouldn’t I put a similar support system in place when I take my leap into the unknown?

Having just read an incredibly insightful book by Shawn Achor called Big Potential, I wouldn’t attempt anything worthwhile without assembling a star system that allows me to not only to tap into my potential, but the bigger potential of everyone in the group.

It’s often the tiniest of actions that catapult us out of our comfort zone and into what I call our evolutionary zone. Sometimes it’s heading to the slopes. Other times it’s passing on dessert or an alcoholic beverage.  It could even be cleaning out a room in order to create some breathing space.

What courageous acts –  big or small – have you taken lately?

Who makes up your star support system and allows you to shine your light in new and adventurous ways?

Please share in the comments below so we can celebrate your moments of magnificence with you and those who made it possible for you!

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Go for Your Own Kind of Gold

Swimmers
The Olympics are here! This song has been running through my head since the opening ceremonies, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Since I only knew the first line, it was high time for me to Google the rest of it. I discovered this fabulous video of Peter Allen and his pink pants, maracas, and joie de vivre that screams of all things Rio – at least in my imagination.
The Olympics are a grand global get-together. They allow us to be a part of something spectacular, break down the barriers that separate us, and for a brief time intricately connect us to the stories, hopes, and dreams of those who live all over the world.
It’s thrilling to be alive in times when humans are faster, stronger, smarter, and more determined than ever.
The competition compels everyone to perform better. Even the caliber of the commercials rival that of Super Bowl Sunday.
But on the other hand, it seems to bring out this unchecked need to grab for the gold. The time or points between first and second or even first and seventh are so minuscule, and yet the difference somehow declares one person a winner and another a loser.
These athletes have all made it to the Olympics, for goodness sake! If they feel bad for not getting a medal, imagine how the rest of us feel for not getting off the couch.
Of course, no one expects us to perform physical feats like an Olympian. However, I suspect we all have Olympic expectations of ourselves in fields where we could be contenders.
For example, it isn’t enough for me to write a blog post. To go for the gold, I should also write for O magazine, More magazine, the Huffington Post or other trendy publications. I should also have a book on the New York Times best seller list and be booked on several talk shows. At the very least, my followers should number more than a few friends and family members.
Or so I’m told. Personally, I feel like I win every time I connect with you.

How do we let Olympic achievements guide and motivate us to become our best? How do we write our own stories based on what we’ve learned from theirs? How do we go for our own kind of gold, silver, or bronze and know that is enough?

I’d love to hear what events you’d be competing in if you participated in an Olympics dedicated to all the things you excel at.
For example, would there be a trivia contest, a baton twirling with fire fest, a dog walking decathlon, a poetry slam, a bubble bath battle, a coffee drinking debate, or a clothes changing charge?
Which of these events – if not all – would you be favored to win? Which would you be delighted just to get to participate in?
Your Olympian efforts matter. I’d love to play your anthem and hear about your achievements in the comments below.  Or email me at penny@wellpower.com.