I was sitting on the train home thinking what am I going to blog about tonight when I get home. So I’m staring out the window, thinking of nothing in particular and hoping inspiration hits. And true to form,I remember reading a great blog post about the Paralympics http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/i-will-be-challenged-and-changed/. Which then reminded me of the interview I had seen with a young Australian Equestrian Paralympian.
This interview was brilliant, not like the usual Olympic interview. The young lady, apologies I could not remember her name, was genuine and her enthusiasm shone through, so that you couldn’t help but adore her and smile with her.
However, that is not the reason that her infectious nature appealed to me. When asked about her physical challenges in competing, you could have picked me up off the floor quite frankly. This young lady participates in the dressage event, which in itself is insignificant. What impressed upon me was that from the minute she gets on her horse and trots into the area, she not only has to complete the highly technical 6-8 minute test, she usually completes it with at least one dislocated shoulder and all the tendons out of alignment.
OMG!!! I actually paused the TV and rewound it to hear it again. I mean I couldn’t believe it at all. Plenty of us would struggle with just completing the test, let alone under such duress. My admiration for these athletes increased at the sheer determination and will power they possess to succeed.
I continued to watch some more events that were being televised and was further heartened to see the genuine warmth and comraderie between the competitors. Other competitors actually want you to succeed, with swimmers walking up the length of the pool cheering others on to finish their race. The power lifters even had the judges up on the stage congratulating them upon achieving a gold medal and world record.
For me, a few of the Olympians could learn a thing or two from these athletes. Humility for one thing. Watching parts of this event has given me hope that maybe, just maybe the human race isn’t as bad as I had imagined.
I haven’t even mentioned the best part yet. During the interview, the young lady was answering questions about how the day went and it’s difficulties. Her response was along the lines of, well we went from our first competitor being disqualified to winning a gold medal with our final competitor. So we went to the pub to have a drink of course. How classic and precious.
Seeing these athletes and hearing their stories, it makes you see your own life with a little more perspective. For one thing, when I wake up in the morning and get out of my nice warm bed, I won’t complain about the aches and creaks of my body.
So the next time you think how tough you have it, or how bad things are. Maybe just stop for a second and think about it.