2004: I watched the Olympics and determined to visit Greece one day. I was blown away by the skill of the athletes; but my dreams to be a world-class runner were quickly dashed by my reluctance to leave the house.
2008: I watched the Beijing Olympics in bed and marvelled at the opening ceremony. I was blown away by the skill of the athletes; but my dreams of achieving a long-jump record were thwarted by laziness and migraines.
2012: I watched the London Olympics and was proud of our country. I was so impressed with what I saw, and jealous of the people who made their dreams a reality; but I knew what commitment it took and that it could never be my highest priority.
2016: I’m ready!
The Olympic Games always fascinated, inspired, and intimidated me. They gave me a desire to run, to jump over hurdles, to swim, to dive… But that desire quickly faded, or at least I pushed it to the back of my mind.
There has been a big change for me since the last Olympics. Two years ago I joined Crossfit. I have grown to love weight lifting. I’ve grown to love running (at least the first 200m!). I have learnt to push my body hard and give myself attainable aims.
Okay, I’ll never compete in the Olympics, and I don’t want to. Running around the block is hard enough! And yet this year I’ll watch with nothing but excitement and admiration for their achievements, and learn everything I can from the way they approach their sport. I will feel part of it.
This year I’m an athlete.