Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lessons Learned from...Blogging

I just wrote a very witty (at least I thought so) and philosophical post about working from home. Blogger malfunctioned and deleted it. I can't be arsed to write it again, which probably means the world can't be arsed to read it.

Why do we blog anyway? My boss recently started a blog which is essentially a venue to promote her cats and extrapolate on the many loads of laundry she manages to do on a Sunday morning. Surely that's not the point. So what is?

C.S. Lewis said "we read to know we are not alone". Is that why we write too? Tomorrow I'm attending a symposium (I love that word) at the local journalism school. The topic is "Truth: Fact and Fiction". Perhaps that will provide me some insight into our compulsive need to share the minutiae of our lives with the world.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lessons Learned from...Athletes

I've never been a huge sports fan.

I enjoy staying active, but can't tell left from right and have limited hand-eye coordination. However, after recently hearing two Olympians speak about their journey and love affair with sport, I'm almost converted. Within the span of a week, I was inspired by both Shelley-Ann Brown and Catriona Le May Doan.

Now I understand that sport is more than external competition. It's about being the best that YOU can be, believing in yourself and your teammates and picking yourself up when you fall. Sport allows you to hear "it's never been done" or "it can't be done" and say "why the hell not?" Brown and Le May Doan have different, yet remarkably similar, stories.

Consider Shelley-Ann's mantra: "There is no coincidence. There is only preparation and opportunity meeting together with passion." When pressured to be the best in the world, she decided instead to press herself to be the best Shelley-Ann Brown. When tempted to ignore her training regimen, she decided instead to adhere to her own internal standard of excellence, not anyone else's. Then, when the moment arrived to finally start her Olympic race, she knew she had done all she could to be the best she could be. And nothing else seemed to matter much. (Although she did end up winning a silver medal!)

Catriona Le May Doan explained how hard it was for her to get back up again after her famous fall in the 1994 Lillehammer Games. But despite her anger, Catriona got back up to win (and then defend) Olympic Gold.
So maybe I'm not an Oymypic athlete; maybe I still don't really like sports. But I like what it stands for: pushing yourself as far as you know you need to go and not giving up when you know you can do it.