Go for the Gold!

BLOG 8.12.16 Olympics
google images / edition.cnn.com


So you didn’t take our advice last week?  How about this week?  Or maybe you are wondering what our advice was?  (Don’t worry – I had to think about it too.)  Our blog was about Pokemon Go and to get going to connect.  So did you try it or maybe even consider it?  Well either way – if you are anything like my family this week, we are holed up with bugged out eyes and quite sleep deprived.  We just can’t seem to look away from the TV.  It is like a bad train wreck – in a good way that is. What is it?  It is reality TV at its finest, and it’s actually real.  It is two weeks of “America’s Got Talent” all day long and into late primetime.  It is the Olympics!

It is more than the sports and competition.  It is seeing ordinary people do extraordinary things.  Athletes who train more than anything else or anyone else.  They are dedicated to their sport, and what they can do amazes the rest of us “average joes.”  They make it look effortless – all of it, even the pain.  What makes it so incredible to watch is that they have family and friends who support them endlessly behind the scenes.  They are “average joes” in some ways too.

For me, the best part of the Olympics is the family-time it has created for us.  We have avoided going out for dinner, golfing, movies with friends, and more just to stay home and watch the Olympics together.  Being home together is a feat in itself as the kids continue to become more involved in activities and their own lives. We are volunteering at the county fair food stand for our church tonight; we are praying that there is a TV somewhere near by – or that the customers will watch the races with us on our phones?  It’s not rude if we invite them instead of ignore them, right? 🙂

We have had some great conversations around the Olympics about competition, compassion, dedication, perseverance, and life.  Jonah, the middle son, likes to stop us mid-talk and say, “Is this going to be one of your inspirational talks?”  (Yes – my glass is usually half-full. 🙂  The time, the talks, and shared common goal – Go USA – have brought us closer together.  Sounds cliché but true.

It is a time to learn about different sports and about one another.  We were watching rowing, and I made a comment about my college crew team.  My son’s eyes got big, and he said, “You did this in college, mom?  This? Really?  Wait – did you go to the Olympics?  Did you win gold?”  My initial response was to just to stare at him because I am 100% sure that I had talked about this plenty in the past.  He needed something to connect it to – or no one is listening when I talk?!

It happened again last night.  As we were watching the floor exercise, our oldest son, Jackson, asked about the music, and if there are guidelines as to what they could have.  My response was probably long-winded and included that Huey Lewis & the News’ Power of Love was my favorite floor routine music. He interjected, “Wait, you were in gymnastics?”  “Yes, son, for ten years when I was younger.” (Um, I mean not now of course.  And really – does no one listen to me reminisce ever?)

My youngest son, JR, has dug out the swim cap and goggles and begs to go to the pool each day to practice flip turns.  This is great since I have tried to get them to be on the swim team again for a number of years.  Thanks, Olympics, I owe you one!

We are addicted to watching the athletes compete and win… and learning more about them.  Check out this NBC site to learn more.  The reporters do a nice job of making them seem “normal” by telling their stories.  It isn’t always an easy flowers and roses story either.  What we don’t see and really know is all the hours of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into their lives and workouts each and every day.

Some of their incredible stories:

Michael Phelps broke a 2,168 year old Olympic record.  I was waiting to post this blog as long as I could but my self-control has finally crumbled.  Phelps has a final swim yet tonight. Will Phelps win the gold in the 100 Butterfly? Only time will tell… pardon the pun 🙂

Simone Manuel became the first African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold as she tied for first in the women’s 100 meter freestyle.  Sweet swim!

Kerri Walsh Jennings is going for gold in beach volleyball in her fourth Olympic games.  This mother of three played hurt this past year to qualify for the games in Rio.  She learned to hit left-handed and served underhanded to make it a go.  Interestingly, she met her husband when trying out to be a teammate to her former partner, Misty May-Treanor.  She obviously got the role and the husband.  Will she will gold again with her new volleyball partner, April Ross?

Did you know that professional volleyball players will have about a week off and then go play for their franchise teams across the globe until next May when they will get about another week off and then play on their national teams?  Amazing and grueling.

There are so many cool stories like…
-Swimmer Dirado’s perfect SAT score and how it’s a family tradition to attend Stanford,
-the swimmer from Hungary who is married to her cheered on by and coached by her husband,
-the Phelps family and baby Boomer.
The list continues on and on…

I don’t know about you, but we have become phenomenal swimmers, volleyball players, gymnasts, rowers, fencers, … ourselves.  You name it.  We have been watching it, and we are now good at it, too.  It’s got to be like some kind of visual training. If we see it enough, we can do it, too.

The incredible thing about the Olympics make us want to be better.  Better athletes, better people, more dedicated, more drive.  Check out a few of the inspirational promos to get geared up to win a gold of your own.

DICK’S Sporting Goods 2016 TEAM USA Commercial “Gold in US” shows athletes everywhere that “we all have gold inside of us…but only some have the strength to dig it out.” #GoldInUS

Under Armour #RuleYourself #IWill

“If your goals really mean something to you, then you’ll never give up on them. That’s how it has to be—and that’s exactly what Michael Phelps is doing.” #EARNYOURARMOUR

Now how can we keep the spirit of the Olympics alive each day in our lives at home, at school, at work?  Gold or not – set goals and be better.  Good luck!


Stay Calm & Go USA!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.



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