We have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Olympic games this year. I have always marveled at any athletic competition and how people push themselves to test their limits and discover what the human body is capable of doing. I’ve done some of that myself.
I knew from a young age that I was never going to be a “star” athlete, but my mindset has always been that my toughest competition is myself, so I’ve constantly tried to push myself to achieve a new Personal Best—PB. The coverage of the Games, ever since they were first televised, has been focused on the most popular sports and athletes. Streaming media has made it possible to watch even some of the least known, but Prime Time continues to focus on the big names and the sports most people wish to watch. So…we see a few dozen athletes out of the thousands participating.
The interviews of those achieving the medal stand, however, at least the ones I’ve heard, have been stories of athletes striving for gold, but for the most part just wanting to achieve that PB. The comments I’ve appreciated most have been those that say they are honored to be participating, they have been impressed by their teammates’ achievements, they have made great friends from other countries and have cheered them on to their own Personal Best attempts.
Eighteen days of glorying in human athletic achievement and potential and peace. Sure the “agony of defeat” has played out, but those consoling the athletes who have given their all and not “won” a medal have been competitors from other countries as well as teammates.
We all have our ups and downs. The older I’ve become—itself an achievement, a daily Personal Best!—the more often I have to adjust my expectations. I used to run ten miles a day. Now I can’t run at all but walk as much as possible. Once I could ski all day long and party into the night. Now I get in a few hours and look for the liniment. But I strive for my Personal Best in whatever I’m doing, whether it’s an athletic endeavor, a new hobby (still working on the guitar), taking care of my family, dealing with all of the people in my life.
I do love a PB&J—Peanut Butter and Jelly. What I love even more is a Personal Best because every one brings me Joy.
I hope you get lots of PB&J in your life, too.