We are glued to the edges of our seats with our faces pressed up against our televisions. It’s the Olympic Spirit! We love the games and the principles behind them. Fairness, unity, good sportsmanship, honor, and integrity are as much a part of the Olympic Spirit as are tenacity, grit, dedication, strength, fitness, and will-power.
The Olympic Spirit is explained best in by Olympic Creed: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” This philosophy was originally advanced by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee and the reviver of the modern Olympic games as we’ve come to know them. De Coubertin was a major proponent of physical education in the schools. In the 1880s he advocated in England and France that “organised sport can create moral and social strength.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_de_Coubertin)
As we sit on our couches and watch our TV screens, we can almost feel what he means. Seeing athletes from different nations and different cultures compete together unites and uplifts us all. Gymnasts from North and South Korea take selfies together, the hijab-wearing Egyptian volleyball team faces off against the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-bikini-clad German team, and the Refugee Team, oh man!
The Olympics are so inspiring that gym memberships soar during the games. We get up off the couch and get into action. It’s such a good thing!
But Penelope warns us to take it mindfully. Jumping off the couch and into the closest poll vault can lead to unexpected injury. If, like our favorite pink moose, you have been enjoying a lot of couch time this summer, get off the couch with some ease. Treat yourself gently.
Here are a few tips for succumbing to the Olympic Spirit, getting back into the fitness groove, and rediscovering your own greatness:
- Start Small – During the first few days of your own personal road to Olympic glory, make your routine achievable. Build on the success you’ll experience. If you plan to run 15 miles right from the get go and fail, you’ll feel like a failure; if you start by running 15 minutes, you’ll feel like a rockstar.
- Make it Fun – Find a class or a routine that you actually like. If your find push ups onerous, you’re not likely to do as many of them – or even any of them.
- Stay Hydrated – Penelope recommends Lemon Rose Blossom Water
- Reward yourself for Showing Up – Give yourself something simple like a new water bottle or a bouquet of fresh flowers
- Stick to It – Commit to 30 days. Draw a check mark on your calendar (or a smiley face) so you can see
- Keep a Sense of Humor – a healthy sense of humor will go a long way toward helping you get fit.
- Be Patient – Michael Phelps did not win 25 gold medals in a single day. It took him years to become a champion. Take your time, enjoy the journey.