The premise of a worldwide, once every four-year competition to display and redefine the pinnacle of athleticism is an amazing concept. Most of us have difficulty training consistently for a few weeks. Could you really sit down and imagine training for four years for a few specific moments? Mind blown.
Thankfully, we get to vicariously live out this feeling as we watch athletes from around the world compete in the Olympics. This year, we got an extra dose of the Olympics due to the pandemic delaying last year’s Summer Games resulting in the Summer Olympic Games and Winter Games being separated only by a few months' time.
As a society, the world has always been enamored by athletes reaching the pinnacle of their sport and the records they achieve. Records give perspective. They allow all of us to truly understand the extent of athleticism required to acquire that record. For example, go outside and run a mile as fast as you can. The vast majority of the athletic population will likely run a nine to ten minute mile. The current world record is literally more than twice as fast as that. High school athletes are even running sub-four-minute miles, a record once thought humanly impossible to achieve. All of us at some point have ran, jumped, swam, lifted, thrown, or performed a skill or attribute common to an Olympic sport. Understanding the performance gap between the Olympic athlete and a “normal” athlete serves to deepen our passion and pursuit of what the human body can truly do.
This performance gap is a real world example of Barbell Brigade’s “Dominate Humbly” motto. You would assume that a normal person would watch the Olympics and quit the next day. What’s the point in trying if you know you can’t possibly perform at that level? That line of reasoning misses the heart of an athlete completely. True competition for an athlete is inherently internal. Can you beat yourself? Can you overcome what’s going on in your life and get to the gym? Can you continue to improve even though life gets more complicated and difficult?
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