Last night, I settled down to watch some of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. While I have no personal connection with them other than nationality, I was pleased to see Shaun White and Scott Lago take gold and bronze in the snowboard half-pipe, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso take gold and silver in the alpine downhill, and Shani Davis take gold in the speed skating 1,000 meter race. I really appreciate the effort that all of the Olympic athletes put into their training in order to achieve their goal of one day competing on that level - win or lose. Of course, winning the gold medal is the ultimate reward, but just being able to compete on that stage is an amazing achievement. A lot of these athletes battle through illness and injury in order to train and compete.
As spectators, we have a couple different responses. Either we can adopt the stance that we would never be able to do what they do or we can try. Sure, we just might have some limitations and obstacles standing in our way, but that shouldn't prevent us from trying to improve our own skills and abilities.
For me, my current limitation comes in the form of the symptoms I am experiencing. Primarily, fatigue is my worst enemy. There are some days where I just don't have any energy at all. On days that I am feeling fine (which have been more common lately), I still need to be careful not to push too hard. Combine the fatigue with the constant feeling of numbness and tingling in my feet and it can be really difficult for me to get anything done.
Again, I have two choices. I can either sit and wallow in my suffering or I can try to do something about it. As should be evident by this blog, I have chosen to try to do something about it. While I may never win a gold medal at the Olympics, there is no reason for me not to try!
Each day, I can either give in to my symptoms or try to overcome them. By pushing the barriers of what I can and cannot do, I find that I can eventually do more. Climbing a flight of stairs without getting winded where I once was unable to even climb the two steps out of my sunken living room without help is as rewarding for me as Olympic gold!