Ron Goch
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Olympic Athletes are Amazing

August 18th 2008

I haven’t watched a great deal of the Olympics, but I have been able to catch a few performances here and there, and I’m amazed at the athleticism and ease in which the athletes perform.

There’s no question any of the athletes are blessed with God-given talent, but there are also those athletes who may not have the level of talent some of the competing athletes possess, yet the work they invested, and their desire and passion to compete and win earns them a special place among the best in the world.

Those are the ones I enjoy seeing compete the most.  I guess because in many ways I can relate.

But to truly appreciate what these athletes do, we should all try one or two of these events to see how we fare.

One evening after watching gymnastics, our daughter went out back and swung on the monkey bars, and she made it look effortless.  It had been quite some years since I’ve climbed up and swung on the monkey bars myself, but feeling inspired by the Olympics and how effortless they – as well as my daughter – made it look, I figured what the heck.

The first thing I noticed was I don’t weigh as little as my daughter, those gymnasts, or what I used to weigh as a kid, and swinging my body from rung to rung is quite a feat in itself!  Heck, just hanging there, I couldn’t believe how much weight there was on my arms and I certainly wasn’t going to swing as swiftly or quickly as my daughter did before me.

My daughter encouraged me, though, thinking she was going to see some kind of show.  I let go of the bars, landed on the ground and said, “Buddy, I have a lot of practicing I need to do before I can make it across those bars like you do.” She laughed and said, “Oh Dad, you’re just kidding.” I said, “I wish I was kidding.  There’s no way I can do what you do.  I need to get out here and swing with you more often.”

No matter where you are in your conditioning, or your monkey bar skills, I challenge you today to head out to your nearest playground, jump up grab a run on the monkey bars, hang there for just one minute – all of 60 seconds (it will seem like eternity for some of you) – and then make every effort to swing your body from rung to rung until you make it to the end.

Trust me, whether you make it to the other end or not, you will have a much greater appreciation for what those gymnasts – and all the Olympic athletes – are achieving as they compete with the world’s greatest athletes and many times make it look so easy.  One swing on the monkey bars and you’ll know first-hand it’s far from easy.  It’s truly amazing.

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