I was watching the Tour de France about a week ago and was thinking, how do these guys do it? For three weeks they drag themselves out of bed every day and ride between 95 and 130 miles a day, 2500 miles in all to get to Paris, climbing in some stages 15,000 feet or more. That's just for starters. There's also rain, heat, and crashes to overcome. Those that can continue frequently go on with various injuries such as abrasions and more. One rider crashed but was able make it to the finish of the stage only to find out he had a punctured lung. Another dislocated his shoulder, put it back in place himself, and rode on. Och! Another fell, separated his shoulder, finished that day and the next, only to quit for good when he crashed again and separated the other one. One word describes it (no, not insanity). It's Perseverance.
We can learn a lot from sports, whether it's the Tour de France, the Summer Olympics starting tomorrow (I'm excited!) or a local hometown football game. These events are microcosms of life and we can pick up some great life skills from them. Perseverance is one of those lessons and was also the theme of an article in the Sierra Sun I read recently, "Endurance Endeavors | Perseverance pays off — even on toughest days" by Kara LaPoint. Kara is a triathlete working her way up to the pro ranks. She competes for LUNA bar in distances from Olympic to Ironman and was ranked as an All-American nationally in 2011 in her age group of 25-29. She is also a top local Nordic ski racer and coach. What I liked about the article is that it put into words the emotions and thought processes many of us at a lesser level of performance go through every day, whether it be taking that morning run on a cold, snowy day, riding the bike trail in Squaw Valley when your legs feel like lead, or hiking that short trail that seems to go on forever. It would be easy not to go or give up, I have a million excuses on hand at all times. To quote Kara: "It's always tempting to give in to a bleak situation, and let ourselves back down. It's easier, and in some senses less demoralizing. But in doing so, we miss out on all the growth that comes with pushing through. Never give up. Keep going. You might be surprised at what your body can do. Above all, put yourself out there. Even on the tough days, when conditions aren't ideal, or your body's not tip-top, just get out there and see what you can make of it. Because in the end, even if we do fail to finish, it's far better than never starting at all."
It's true! Pushing through and overcoming your temptation to quit is how we grow and gain confidence, and confidence is what gives us the courage to go on. Not only that, this same mental attitude and toughness we learn on the trails, the road, or the playing field carries over into our everyday lives. We're better, stronger and more accomplished because of it. With the Summer Olympics starting tomorrow, we're sure to see many examples of top athletes pushing through their perceived limits to see what they can find in themselves on the other side. Watching them and athletes like Kara can inspire us to push through our own barriers and discover the rewards on the other side.
The Wanderlust Festival is happening at Squaw Valley USA Thursday, July 26 to Sunday, July 29 featuring Yoga, Music, and Nature, more paths to self-discovery and growth. Wanderlust is a one-of-a-kind festival bringing together the world's best yoga and wellness teachers and top musical acts and DJs, all in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty. Wanderlust takes place in various locations around the country, including Canada, but this is our own California edition. Among the musical performers will be Ziggy Marley, son of the legendary Reggae master Bob Marley. Wanderlust is more than the music, it's hiking on peaceful trails, sipping poolside cocktails with your friends, and enjoying a tasty farm-to-table dinner with views of the surrounding mountain peaks. It's also early morning meditations and all-night chakra spinning musical performances -- it's an all-out ecstatic celebration in the most awe-inspiring locations in the world.
I value finding ways to make my life better, the opportunities are all around us. To quote Nike, "Just do it!". Keep up to date with all that's happening at Olympic Village Inn and Olympic Valley by "Liking" our Facebook page. Have great week!