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Life Lessons from an Olympic Dream

August 4, 2016

Inspiration and wisdom

2016SummerOlympics

My blog posts don’t often begin with these words, “Don’t laugh at what I’m about to share with you,” but today I feel it is necessary since I’m sharing a personal story of my own short lived Olympic dreams since Saturday marks the beginning of the Olympic games in Rio. For sixteen days, American will focus their attention on the international world as elite athletes from all over the globe compete for Olympic Gold.

In 1972 after watching Mark Spitz win seven gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, I turned to my stepfather and said, “I want to start training for the Olympics too.” I had been swimming since I was 5 years old (I was 8 in 1972) so I thought I was a pro. We lived on Lake Delta in Rome, New York so I had the means to swim every day if I wanted. Enthusiastically he said, “Okay, I’ll coach you.” I’m positive now he knew his coaching career would be short lived but he didn’t express it.

So for the next two weeks, I swam across the cove on the lake twice a day building up my Olympic muscles. One night at dinner, I said to my coach, “I don’t want to be an Olympic swimmer anymore. Is that okay?” He smiled (or smirked I’m not sure which) and said “Sure Tracy it’s your dream.”

I know what you are thinking, what does this story have to do with besides getting excited for another Summer Olympics? I’ll tell you what I learned and what I hope you walk away with after hearing this story:

* You must be a dreamer to start anything. Whether you are beginning a new career, a new business or taking up a new endeavor. You must dream and believe you can do it before you ever even try!

* Becoming an Olympic athlete, like becoming an entrepreneur, means it is easy to set the dream in action but when time goes on and you lose passion, get tired or aren’t really prepared to dedicate your heart and soul to it, you can fail or at least change your mind about proceeding forward. To do anything really big takes sheer will, training, focus and determination.

* When you realize something you started isn’t working, it is okay to walk away if you have thought about it thoroughly. It only took me two weeks to realize I was caught up in the Olympic spirit and the glory of gold to realize that was why I wanted to become an Olympian.

* As a 22 year woman entrepreneur with two successful businesses, I have proof that I can start something and stick with it uplifting me when I think back to my Olympic fail. Not all dreams work out; but many do.

TamikaCatchingsOlympicsI hope you turn on the Olympics and cheer on the male and female athletes competing for gold. As a new member of an Adult-Learn-To-Crew team, I’ll be cheering on crew this year in the Olympics and of course every female athlete in every sport. If you happen to catch a shimmer of something sparkling in the air above Rio, it could be my Olympic dream from 1972. I say, “Keep Dreaming!”

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