The Olympics and Windows

While I sit in front of my computer watching the Olympics this week, I’ve been thinking of windows. Windows are pretty awesome. When we are inside, windows enable us to enjoy the beauty of the outside world, and to imagine a life different from what we have on the inside. They allow us to look out to possibilities. And then we can work hard to make those possibilities become realities.  

But windows can also be a curse. When we’re on the outside, windows show us what’s on the inside, and sometimes what’s on the inside is better or more fulfilling than what we have.

For a long time, the Olympics have been my window. When I was a kid, I watched the Olympics with awe, and looked out their window and saw the possibilities. Running 59.2 seconds for 400 meters in 8th grade, my dream of running in the Olympics wasn’t so far-fetched. But then all of the other kids physically matured, and I became just another high school runner. When I watch the Olympics now, I often feel like I’m on the outside of the window looking in. 

Looking in the window, it’s easy to feel sorry for myself, and I know people will say that I should be happy with my accomplishments. But it’s still hard. I want to feel what Olympians feel. I want to walk into Olympic Stadium with Team USA and feel the pride of representing my country on the world’s biggest stage. I want to feel what it’s like to stand on the podium with a gold medal around my neck and the American flag raised and national anthem played for something I accomplished. I want to be interviewed by Bob Costas and explain to the American TV audience what it feels like to be on the inside of the Olympic Village and trade pins with athletes from all over the world and be a part of something so special. I want to tell Bob that I wish everyone could feel what I feel. I want to feel the pure joy that Olympians feel.

But we cannot control our genetic talent. All we can do, all I can do, is discover what we’re good at and make the most of it. And use the Olympic Games as a window we look out of and be inspired by rather than a window we look in.  

What is your window?



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