A few years ago, on a Sunday morning I got to listen to Michael Phelps mom explain what is was like raising the young man who is now the most decorated Olympic champion ever. I was at a church in Baltimore, and the Pastor had once worked beside Michael Phelps mom when they both taught at the same school. Just like I did back then, I marvel at how physically close we all are to greatness, how close we are to becoming great, and yet at times find ourselves so far from it.
I figure we could all use a page from one of their books, since they are among the most accomplished and distinguished athletes. Here are my quick take a ways as I continue to watch Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles dominate and compete in this years 2016 Olympics.
Phelps: the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 25 medals .
Develop what you are good at and become great at it. Become so good that you master it. Don’t take your skill or gift for granted. Be okay with making your competition better, because they are learning from you.
Douglas: first African American to win gold in the individual all- around gymnastics event in 2012, gold medal winner in 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Focus under critique, under distractions, under unfair comparisons and expectations. You must maintain your focus.
Biles: the most decorated American female gymnast in World Championship history, with a total of fourteen medals.
Always do extra. The little bit of extra goes along way when deciding who wins and who looses. Don’t stop at excellence, stop only after you have given your best effort.
Lastly, stop hiding, and put your greatness on display.
I think they are onto something!
Rachel Bryant Lundy