Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Other Olympic Experience


While my own Olympic dreams will have to be put on hold for a few more years, I was able to play support role in London for the superstar Sarah Groff.  After ending my whirlwind racing trip through Europe, I landed in Davos, Switzerland to help Sarah in her final preparations to the Olympic Games.  Life for me was fairly simple- I just had to help calm the mind and ensure confidence in an athlete about to start the biggest race of her life... so actually my job was quite difficult.  But as an athlete myself and knowing what evil games your mind likes to play, I had some idea on what I was getting into.  Once in London, it was game on.  Sarah raced incredibly and after being gapped by the leaders, fought back to the lead in the final few kilometers to finish a gallant fourth, just meters outside of the medals.  And to think only 18 months ago she couldn’t run because of a broken sacrum, it has been an amazing resurrection.  Watching the Olympics, however, was bittersweet.  To see the amazing performances by athletes across the world was spectacular, but to witness firsthand the race that has been my goal for years, and to be there in London as a spectator was heartbreaking.  But rising up from failure will only make me stronger; only make me work for it that much more.  Watching Sarah race, knowing the injuries and hardships she has faced over the past few years, as she ran back into contention for gold, shows that you can never give up, never let doubt overtake your mind, and always keep striving for your dreams.  It is a lesson I will not forget, and I hope to be able to race and train with the tenacity and strength she extrudes day in and day out.

Until next time,

Ben


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