“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious” –Vince Lombardi
See the look on that face? We all know that look. That is the look of a battle won. A fight ending victoriously. A struggle that did not yield to adversity, challenges or obstacles but instead worked harder, overcame and defeated the odds. That is the face of a champion. We’ve seen it over and over again in sport. The Michael Phelps face in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics. The faces of the U.S. Men’s Hockey team after defeating the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic Games coining the term “miracle on ice.” Remember the Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh three-peat in London? Two athletes who had conquered great challenges, injuries, team dynamics and tromped over that sand court on a mission for gold.
And another three-peat at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games when Rich Froning was once again declared the Fittest Man on Earth three years in a row.
Amazed? Yes. Surprised? No.
“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” –Larry Bird
Elite athlete or not, there is no denying it – at some point we all want to win. Winning moments in sports are not just inspirational blips in our conscience that get tucked away over a commercial break. They are the moments that motivate us. They live within us. We stand to our feet, raise our arms and cheer along with our heroes as they triumph. Winning is contagious. And why?
Because there is victory in all of us.
Truth is we are all created with unique and capable talents.All of us.
Did you miss that? All of us.
The catch is to work your tail off and develop those talents into skills and use them to accomplish your goals (thank you Mr. Bird for articulating that so well). No one ever got any better at anything by sitting on the sidelines. We need to practice what we want to become good at it and we need to sharpen what we already have. How cool is it that we come pre-packaged with talent and in order to develop it into the ingredients to fulfill the mission and purpose we have in our lifetime, we just need to access it and develop it? So, you aren’t Michael Phelps, Rich Froning or a beach volleyball goddess (so close, right?). What are you?
What talent or ability is in you that is just waiting to be given permission to shine?
Find it. Develop it. Live it.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi
If winning was everything then there would be no need for second place. Or third place. Or those weird participation ribbons you can get at the dollar store. Everyone would be a winner. But the very nature of winning is that there is a second place, there is always someone (and a lot of other someone’s) who has been defeated. Someone who came up short. Someone who will need to dust themselves off, dedicate themselves to bettering the areas where they fell short and learn from their loss. It is usually after a period of loss when we find out what we are made of.
Defeat has a way of bringing our weaknesses to light.
And if we allow it, defeat can change us and propel us to push the limits of where we previously thought we had maxed out. But you have to get back up. You have to decide that today is your day to find victory. Because it is out there. Your victory is out there.
(Photo Featured: Austin Junior Volleyball Club, 17’s Cedar Park is pictured winning the National Championship title at Junior Olympics July, 2013. Photo Credit: Susan Sigmon)