Would you pursue excellence at the exclusion of all else?

by admin on June 30, 2008

This morning was for a recovery run. My long run on Saturday tired me out, despite the rest I had yesterday. So today was slow but it is more about just doing it on days like this. I had my new sneakers which felt great.

I was watching the Olympic trials this weekend in track and field and swimming last night. Watching Michael Phelps made me think about excellence and the pursuit of it. Certainly as he turns 23 today, he has given up so much for his love of the sport. Watching his mom in the stands made me wonder all that she has sacrificed as well. But the love of the sport is what drives him and her love of him is what drives her. Bob Costas compared him to Tiger and Jordan in the post-race interview and again, there are names that have sacrificed so much for their pursuit of excellence.

In today’s world, it’s hard to make a sacrifice or committment to that degree. We all have jobs, families and other responsibilities that make it hard, if not impossible, to fully commit to one thing. But even if we have a taste of it, to whatever degree we can, we start to shift, start to move, start to understand not only how hard it is, but how rewarding it can be.

Before last night, I wasn’t really looking forward to the Olympics. As Charlie Brown once said about Christmas, “It’s gone commercial.” But when you boil it all down, when you remove all the media personalities and the commercials and the hype, it’s really about giving those who have committed, despite all else, a chance to shine. And that is truely an inspiration.


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