Go for gold

by 16 Sep 2008

The Olympic Games are a forum for countless feats of athleticism, courage and determination. They bring out the best in almost everyone, not just the competitors.

Elite athletes thrive in competition. They’re able to look their opponent in the eye and know they can win. That’s what sets them apart. But, long before they reached the world stage, they had to face themselves. They had to tell themselves that they’re worth all the effort it will take to make them better tomorrow than they are today. They had to make tough decisions and sacrifices. In the beginning, they had to be human.

Many a wise person will tell you that the toughest competitor you’ll ever face is the one you see in the mirror. Sound like a cliché? Think about it – The person you see in the mirror will always be there, and will always be a reminder of where you are now, like it or not. Say hello to your number one competitor.

What will it take to best this opponent? Losing some fat? Lowering cholesterol or blood pressure? Overcoming diabetes? Strengthening muscles or joints? What has your opponent already done that you can do better?

Make no mistake, it’s going to take guts and determination. You have to work around your job, family and social commitments. You have to be consistent with your diet and exercise, even when you don’t feel like it. You have to do this because you know that your opponent, there in the mirror, has done everything you’ve done. If you don’t think they’re as good as they could be, then you need to do better. It’s time. Are you ready?

Success – in fitness or even life in general – isn’t always a matter of being brilliant or gifted. Quite often, it’s simply about who wants it the most. Most of us will never be top-level athletes, but should that discourage us from going for gold in our own lives? When we look ourselves in the eye, how badly will we want to make ourselves better tomorrow than we are now?

By Brian Merrill, certified fitness trainer. Email: b.e.merrill@gmail.com