What a week for Team GB in the Olympics!
6 gold medals alone yesterday and still over a week to go – we are on fire!!
The frenzy of pride in being British this year , starting with the celebration of our wonderful monarchs jubilee , has reached fever pitch as we watch our talented and incredible British Olympians win gold after gold medal in their own host nation. Not to be forgotten too are the silver and bronze medals that Team GB have won – all great achievements in this tournament of champions.
As I sat alongside my husband cheering on the Team GB women’s football team , watched with pride our local Milton Keynes lad Greg Rutherford took the gold in the long jump, Jessica Ennis smash the triathlon event and Mo Farah bring home the mens 10000 meters ….I was cheering at the top of my voice and watching in wonderment at how these amazingly honed and focused athlete’s performed.
I imagined what sacrifices they make for their craft – or did they consider them sacrifices or a step to being the best of the best ?
Event after event, as varied as could be , from shooting, sailing, rowing, football, heptathlon, sprint, 100 meters . swimming and much more – if we were to model the excellence of all these individual champions what would be the core attributes of all their achievements? What would be the common traits they all had that made them Olympians What do they all belive about their sport, about winning, about not winning – about themselves?
One of the most memorable and inspiring pictures I have to date and that will remain with me from these Olympic games is that of Helen Jenkins running the triathlon event in Hyde Park yesterday.
For most of the race she kept the pace with the front runners…then on the last lap she lost pace and was clearly tied, her arms flaying and clearly losing strength. She had a painful knee injury and , as the other four leaders increased their distance from her, it would have been very easy for Helen to have thrown in the towel as she saw her hopes of being placed being destroyed. And yet, Helen poured every ounce of strength she had into her race, pulling deep into her underlying resources to keep going, to do the best she possibly could to BE the best she possibly could in a race she had now no chance of winning.
Is this the difference that makes the difference?
We all have internal resources we can pull on – an unknown strength and determination within us when we are tied, in pain, when it seems like we have lost the fight – just like Helen. How easy is it though not to dig deep for our internal resources – to just give up when we think all is lost ? What do we believe about ourselves in that moment of time that pushes us forward with all our might?
I am reminded of our dear Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip standing on that barge watching the flotilla for four hours in the pouring rain, after completing a gruelling tour of Great Britain that even one of our Olympians would find tiring!
What internal resources did she pull on to do this ? Like our Olympians what does she believe to be true about her role as monarch, about her own self? What did she say to herself to keep her going while being cold and drenched at the age of 85?
Resilience is a word we hear a lot in business – how to remain resilient and strong to business and life challenges. How is resilience defined?
Well I think we can learn a lot from our Olympians and from our Monarch about accessing the inner resources that will help us learn to make us the champions of our life , How to remain strong, focused, determined and resilient at the times we need to the most.
So, the next time I hear myself complain about having to exercise ten minutes in the morning I will think of Helen Jenkins and be totally inspired
How will you ensure you get “Gold and always believe in your soul?”