Every four years we are treated to event after event highlighting the impossible. Greater, higher, faster, smoother and more dangerous –this is the stuff the Olympics are made of!
Thanks to the magic of marketing, we are learning a bit about the backstories of these who endure the ‘thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.’ It’s not quick. It’s not easy. And very often the true unspoken heroes sit in the stands with knots in their bellies, praying for their little children who have worked so hard to get here.
Ron and I have had a taste of hard work, training for a marathon, and I for triathlons. But honestly, this wasn’t our first taste of ‘training for the seemingly impossible.’ When we lost our son Ryan, continuing on with a normal life for us, seemed as impossible as doing The Anamar Vault or Handspring front entry onto a four-inch beam. We knew surviving our loss required practice. And that’s what we did. Every day we got a little bit stronger, a little better.
We had help. We had encouragement from friends and family. I don’t know how you live life without it. And during that time we trained by them and helped with encouraging words and inspiration to ‘go on with their race.’
In Barcelona’s Summer Olympics, 1992, Derek Redmond tore his hamstring halfway through the semi-final 400 meter race. Redmond refused to give up and despite the horrible pain, kept limping toward the finish line. Nobody could believe what happened next: Derek’s father jumped over the railing from the stands to help his son finish the race.
A few yards from the finish line, his father let go so his son could finish the race by himself.
Though Derek didn’t win the race, he experienced the real thrill of victory which is found in giving and accepting help from others who have faced the impossible.
Have a great Olympic-viewing weekend!