Five rings. One red maple life. Indescribable national pride. It's the Olympics and we are so proud to be Canadian!
The Olympics are a big deal in this random house. The winter Olympics are our favorite but we are just as proud of our summer athletes. All five of us gather around the TV to cheer on our countrymen in very nearly every event imaginable. Sports we had no clue about a week ago have suddenly become of great importance to us. We hush each other during weightlifting, judo and rowing. We wait, breathless, during the men's medley, 100 butterfly and 4 x 100 relay and we can't wait for our favorite events, namely gymnastics and diving. We have caught the spirit.
The boys in particular have been bit by the Olympic bug. Dude has always wanted to be an Olympic diver and nothing has changed with that dream. Mischief is just like me, easily inspired. During rowing he wants to row, during swimming he wants to swim and during gymnastics he wants to be a gymnast. In between events the boys run outside to try out their skills at the different events and to coach and cheer each other on. They dream of standing on the podium and hearing O Canada play as the maple leaf is lifted high. They dream of inspiring other kids. They dream of being part of the team that binds the country together every four years.
And my kids are not the only wee ones who have the Olympic itch.
Today, while at the beach, I saw a nine year old girl mark out a path in the sand, take her mark and run to an imagined vault. I could see her soar through the air in her mind's eye and land her vault with perfection. My own kids, along with their cousins, swam Olympic races and invented their own events, including under water handstands and the tunnel swim.
It has been awesome to see the domino effect of The Dream. It has less to do with the Olympics and more to do with people witnessing others achieve their dreams. We all have had dreams for our lives; for some of us we are still dreaming, others are making the dream a reality and still others have lost hope in their dreams. That's the poison of life, to lose hope in the dream, to stop dreaming.
Life happens, plans change and sometimes unexpected things happen. All of this can conspire to fill us with doubt and despair. All of this can steal our dreams but it doesn't have to be that way.
The Canadian coverage of the Olympics include segments called The Difference Makers. It's the stories of different althetes and the people who made their dreams a reality. Many of these stories have elements of disappointment and heartache. Athletes have suffered injuries that could have forced them to abandon their dreams, some have lost parents and others have been victims of abuse and yet all of them continued on. All of them adjusted their plans but never took their eyes off their goals. All of them allowed others to lend hope to their dreams. All of them are living the dream.
Watching these hope filled stories makes me wonder, what's my 'Olympic' dream? What's the secret plan of my heart and am I staying the course or have I allowed life to steal my hope, my focus? Am I doing what it takes to live the dream?
What the dream of your heart? What's the thing you want most for your life, for your family? Has life's circumstances stolen your hope? Does the dream seem impossible? Or worse, have you forgotten how to dream?
There ate gifts, talents and hopes that have been woven into each one of us. There is a greatness that lies within each of us to live a huge life of purpose and fulfillment. There is a destiny that we are each meant to discover and live out and the secret dream of your heart is a key piece to achieving that destiny.
If life has become too big, too busy, too stressful, too much to bear take heart. It's not too late to dream. It's not too late to live the life you were meant to live. It's not too late to draw your path in the sand, to take a deep breath and to run to your destiny with all your might.
Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives in each of us.
~Wilma Rudolph, Olympian