We are ALL Olympians

Just like a leap year, it arrives every four years.

With so much anticipation and expectation, the Olympics is here once again.

As a Personal Trainer and ex professional sports player, I have enormous admiration and respect for every single person who represents their country at this amazing event. These athletes train with such dedication and commitment for four years in the hope of winning gold for both their country and themselves and put everything on the line for their sport. As mere spectators of the games, we often have very little understanding of what these athletes have gone through in order to reach their goal. Long hours of training, restricted diets, injuries and not to mention the many hours and days spent away from family and friends.

The sacrifices these athletes make made me think about the things we concede in order to try and achieve the health and fitness goals we set for ourselves. Granted our goal may not be to win a gold medal in 2016 at Rio. Our goals are arguably more simplistic, such as ‘getting to the gym 3 times each week’ or ‘running 5km on the treadmill without stopping’ or ‘losing 10cm off my waist’, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less important or significant to us. In order for us to achieve these goals, we invariably have to make our own sacrifices which can play havoc with our minds. For example, in order to make it to the gym 3 times this week, you may have to miss out on having lunch with your girlfriend at your favourite café, and you might also miss out on that massage appointment you’ve been waiting 2 weeks for. To reach your goal of running 5km on the treadmill without stopping, you may have to set your alarm 1 hour earlier than you’d prefer in order to make it to the gym before work. And to lose that 10cm off your waist, you will probably miss out on your Friday night ritual of fish & chips on the couch with your kids. However we try to justify it, sacrifices are an unavoidable part of most fitness goals we set. I’ve come to the realization this week, that surrendering to these sacrifices and embracing them head on, makes us “mini-Olympians” in our own right. Our sacrifices are different to those of the professional athletes we’ll be watching over the next 2 weeks, but they’re no less important to us….and tackling them head on will without doubt help us get to where we want to be!

So when I get up in the early hours of Sunday 5th August to watch the Men’s 100m Final, I will be thinking about the sacrifices these incredible athletes have made. I’ll use that as inspiration for my own training in the coming weeks and I’ll remember that by springing out of bed when I’d rather hit “snooze”, I’ll be one step closer to reaching my fitness goal.