Olympic Inspiration for Work, Play and Family
I am always so very inspired by watching sport. It is not just the shear amazement and joy of what people can do and achieve with their bodies but it’s about the grit, determination and incredible focus that top sport people have. I literally can't get enough of the Olympics this year. I'm even watching sports I normally leave, I cry at every medal ceremony and I love all the interviews. And I may just be staying up way too late to watch just one more event.
I love the positivity that sport puts out into the world too. It's actually a joy to watch the news. Why can't we start the news with such good news stories every day? So much good stuff happens in the world every single day but we are always focussed on the doom and gloom, so hearing the excitement of "another gold medal" is such a refreshing change.
Watching the Olympics inspires me to work hard and chase my dreams. I'm sure you know that I don't need much encouragement to do this but watching people so committed and driven to achieve their goals really motivates me.
It makes me feel less crazy about being one of those driven people! And it leaves me with the feeling that anything is possible.
I am never going to compete in the Olympics and I was never born to do that. But I can use these amazing people to think about what I am doing with my work. Bringing together hard work, focus and self-belief is so important in building a business.
For the past year or so I have had this book in the back of my mind. I think about every decision and opportunity that comes my way in terms of whether it will help the Makelight boat go faster or not. It helps me to have that complete focus and not go off on tangents that as lovely as they might be are not going to help me get to where I want to go with my business.
Watching the Olympics inspires me to get out there and go running or get in the pool for a swim and not come up with excuses about why I am too busy or tired to go.
And once I'm out on the road or in the pool it makes me push harder. Not because I have any crazy ideas about training for 2020 in Tokyo (!!!) but because it simply reminds me what the body is capable of. It helps me to believe in myself and to push myself to be better and to get stronger, fitter and faster.
Not only does it help me to play harder but it also really helps me to look after myself. You can't be an Olympic athlete on 5 hours sleep a night. You can't be an Olympic athlete if you don't have some rest days. I am so guilty of letting my sleep slip and not taking enough time off but I know how well I work, play and live when I do sleep and rest properly. We all do of course!
Finally I absolutely love what watching sport does for family life. It brings back such happy memories of my childhood and of watching the Olympics with my sister and parents. I can remember athletes that I loved back then. They are a part of my history and I love being reminded of these amazing people and the lovely times I shared watching them with my family.
Watching the Olympics with my children this year has been amazing. It's the first time that they have really engaged with it and been really inspired themselves. My daughter has decided she really wants to give her swimming real attention and dream to train to compete in 2024! How amazing is that? To dream big and to think ahead eight years. To be inspired by people you are watching on the television and want to go out and practise, train and focus.
As a mother it is so wonderful to be able to give my children confidence and self-belief that they too can chase their dreams but at the same time to show my children just how hard these people have worked to achieve these medals. I am not saying that my children are all going to go on and be Olympic champions (...you never know!) but I do believe that they can go out into the world and achieve things and really dream big.
On that special Sunday when the gold medals were flooding in for Team GB I was stuck on a train travelling back from teaching a lovely workshop in Glasgow. I think I might have used up all the train's WIFI as I pressed refresh every minute to get the latest update from the BBC Sport website! And then the men's tennis final started and I couldn't get any good connection and I actually nearly cried. But then my precious son sat with his phone and updated me with a text message every couple of minutes. It was adorable and what a way to connect with your child! He kept the messages going for a couple of hours and was standing outside to hug me when I stepped out of the taxi at 11.15pm and we rushed in to keep watching together. He stayed up until 11.55pm (a time I think he'll always remember....he is only 7!) when we were pretty sure that Andy Murray was going to go on to win the match. Little did I realise how crazy that fourth set was going to be!!
Memories like these are the special ones to remember and the ones that will be triggered every four years when the Olympics come round again. I love that. I really do.
Watching sport inspires me about life. It makes me feel alive, positive and full of determination to do what I want to do in life however hard it may seem. I hope you're inspired too! xo