the Olympics are here =] Every 4 years I go mental for gymnastics, rowing, basketball, athletics, beach vollyball, water polo....just because it is the olympics. Anyone who trys to talk down the prestige and excitement behind the games should be tied up and forced to watch "So you think you can dance", it is an awesome event that brings athletes and nations together....plus the only place you'll see Georgia and Russia together in 2008 without tanks!
So far Phelps has impressed in the pool, the Americans have taken 1,2,3 in the woman's fencing and China has won it's first gold. My good friend Hannah Miley came 6th in last nights 400m I.M. final which I watched with open eyes, she looked so calm and really put in a good race. She is one of the only people out there who hands down trains harder than me, I have an enormous amount of respect for her and she deserves a lot of credit for her training and racing. We have swam together in training and racing on and off for over 10 years. Since we were 12 she has been running to training in the morining at 0530 to get in some extra land work time and she is quite often her one and only training partner for the long hours in the pool ... alone.
This got me thinking about dedication. The person who is out there all alone doing the work, when no one is screaming down their neck, when there are no training partners to impress, no coaches looking on but is still bent double in pain, exhausted, is the person who in a race when their body is saying stop will just take a minute, tell it to shut the hell up and keep on going. Being an athlete is not about impressing people, it is not about the image, the recognition, the accolade, but about the hard work, the 6 hour training days, the raining days and the 5am mornings but most of all the feeling when you know you've just done something great.
It is that moment we are all training for, we don't care if anyone else agrees with us, if anyone will put our race in the paper or on the news, it could be done alone in the middle of the mountains with no one watching but when we surpass our goals and take a step up it is a feeling that will stay with us forever. So when you see us heading out on our bikes in the rain or getting up for training just as you are coming in from a night out, don't call us crazy or stupid...we're just out there searching for our moment.