Show Up and Surprise Yourself

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for almost two months, but….life.  So even though the story is from the Winter Olympics, I still wanted to share it because I find it valuable.  And hope you will too.

We were sledding in our backyard after 10 inches of snow graced us with its presence.  The Olympics were just winding down and my husband and I were talking about the American halfpipe skier that got herself on the Hungarian Olympic team even though she’s below average.  (She does have a Master’s Degree from Harvard so she’s not below average in everything.)  It was an interesting story: Elizabeth Swaney is American, but got on Hungary’s team because her grandparents are Hungarian.  She found an event that didn’t attract many athletes and consistently showed up at enough events throughout the season to qualify for the Olympics.  She figured out that she didn’t need to be the best.  She didn’t need to be great or even good – she just needed to stay upright.  And because her competitors would do tricks and fall down, they got lower scores than her.  She finished in the top 30 in the world because there often weren’t 30 competitors in her field.  (USA Today)

And my neighbor said, “Well that’s not fair!”  And I couldn’t blame her because that was my initial reaction.  But what we talked about was that Elizabeth had followed the rules.  She had a goal to compete in the Olympics and she figured out how to do that.  She showed up.  And she surprised herself by becoming an Olympian. Life rewards those who are consistent – not the most talented.

We see this all the time in life.  The Monday morning quarterbacks talking about how they would have done this or that differently.  But they didn’t.  How many talented and intelligent people do you know that struggle financially or don’t reach their potential?  How many people judge and gossip from the side but don’t have the courage to show up and put themselves out there?

Where is an area that you can show up more in your  life?  Is it your health?  Is it training you can get or an advanced degree to further your career?  Is it getting yourself and kids out the door to meet new people so that you are more connected to your community?  Is it getting to that networking event at an inconvenient time to create new business?  If you really have a goal that you are set on, find a way to achieve it.  You may need to think outside of the box like Elizabeth had to do, but that’s okay.  Because life rewards those who show up.

(Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography)

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