Inspired by the Full Spectrum – August 2012 Thought of the Month

I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve been mesmerized by the past week’s dazzling display of intensity, passion, fury and talent by the world’s Olympic athletes.  I’ve gasped at soccer, I’ve sprinted (or at least tried to!) on the Eliptical during the 10,000m dash and  I’ve held my breath during synchronized diving.  I’ve been on board sighing, yelling and cheering during the final seconds.  They feel fantastic and devastating.  But I guess the highs and, inevitably the lows, are why I’m along for the ride.

These athletes have given their whole lives to their sport.  Not many of us can even hope to comprehend what that really looks like or feels like.   I can’t even begin to imagine what they must experience with a win.  Webster’s may need to come up with a new definition for elated because it doesn’t seem to cut it.  And what many endure with a shattering loss is unfathomable.

That’s why Olympic trampolinist Jason Burnett’s words hit me so hard.  In 2008 he won Silver in Beijing and then crashed in London 2012.  The National Post caught his words:

“... in Beijing I had an incredible experience, and I came out on top…now I’ve got to experience the complete opposite of that.  I’ve failed — miserably, some might say — but I get to experience both ends of the spectrum, and I think just the experience in itself is a good one to have.”

If only we could all treat our own disappointments with as much perspective.  It’s not an easy task when we are caught up in the wins and losses of our own lives.  We urge each other onward to outperform our best, and then ask ourselves to do better.  We are inspired by the momentum of athletes’ discipline and passion.    But to also inspire when we crash “miserably” – to declare to the world, or even just to ourselves, “Hey, I’m wide open to this whole life experience thing: the highs, the lows, the devastation and the glory.”

Now that for me is coming out on top.

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7 Responses to Inspired by the Full Spectrum – August 2012 Thought of the Month

  1. agnieszka says:

    I agree with you about experiencing all of life’s spectrum of colours: the good and the bad, the beautiful and ugly. With out it, we would be less human. It is so hard to remember that without sadness there would be no joy and after a rainstorm there wouldn’t be a bright sunny day we would appreciate even more than before the storm. It seems that life flows along this patterned stream- by now I am begining to learn to wait for the bad wave to pass- “this too shall pass” is a good motto to live by in times when we forget that we are only human.

    • Aynsley Saxe says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Agnieszka. I agree, it is hard to remember that we are ‘only human’ and that there is a natural ebb and flow to our lives. I like your visual of the rainstorm & sunny day – they are both equally beautiful, although when we are wanting more sun in the midst of a thunderstorm we sometimes can’t see how the clouds eventually make the sun seem brighter.

  2. Melissa says:

    It’s often all too easy to focus on a failure instead of recognizing our successes. Hopefully we can regard failure as an accomplishment in itself (at least we tried) as well as being a positive step forward in our development. Thanks for posting about this topic.

    • Aynsley Saxe says:

      I agree, having the courage to try is a huge success. Moving forward after experiencing what we might consider a ‘failure’ is easier when we see the loss or disappointment from a higher perspective, and as just one more piece to integrate in the giant masterpiece of our lives. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  3. Kat Leonard says:

    Such truth and insight! I feel that for olympians the lows must be compounded by the fact that they generally get one chance at the podium after years and years of training! One chance! And depending on the event, that could mean mere seconds to perform after a lifetime of training! Wow!

    • Aynsley Saxe says:

      So true Kat. You’d have to be incredibly passionate about the sport to dedicate years to it like they do…and then the final ‘podium’ moments must be excruciatingly intense, and so raw and disappointing if the results aren’t what is desired. Add to the mix the whole world watching. Now that’s pressure.

      Maybe their journey though is a tiny bit like songwriting – if you spend your whole life trying to write a hit song maybe you’ll miss the music in between and how passionate you feel just participating in the art, for its own sake.

      Sure it’s crazy awesome to win big and feel the glory of all of that, I’m not saying it’s not. I just feel like anyone passionately involved with their sport, art, or anything really, has already won.

      Wow…that was almost another whole blog haha. 😀

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