Monday, August 18, 2008

Issue 481 - Now That's Gotta Hurt!

I hope Monday finds you well.

As you can probably imagine I have been torn between which life nugget to draw from the week's worth of Olympic action.

Maybe it could be the womens 3000 metre steeplechase - making its' first appearance at the games, it marks the near final equality between mens and womens events in track and field.
I say near equality as the women still do the heptathlon instead of the decathlon of the men. There is no good reason for this that I can see, and it has been a 30 year slog to get these events deemed 'suitable' for women.

Blimey even the pole vault is a recent introduction, and yes Yelena Isinbayeva did win gold, and yes she broke the world record again!

However, what I'm going to talk about today is injury.
Michaela Breeze, Britain's only weightlifter at the games made a lot of news when she competed despite a bad back, yelping in pain as she carried on with no chance of a medal, before sinking to her knees in tears.

Paula Radcliffe has only ever run 9 marathons.
She has won 7 of them, and is the world record holder. The only 2 she hasn't won were the 2004 Olympics race and now the 2008 Olympics race, on both occasion through injury.

The American Deena Kastor had to stop in the same race too. She said she heard something 'pop' in her foot, and in fact it had broken.

Another American Sarah Hammer was in the middle of the pack in a cycle race when another rider crashed, taking Hammer out and breaking her collarbone.

Probably the biggest Olympic injury this time though is for China's Liu Xiang.
Ever since he won gold in the 110 metres hurdles in Athens, he was the face of the Beijing Games, and despite China prodigious medal haul, he was their biggest hope inside the main stadium.

It wasn't to be though, as his ankle was injured, and despite lining up at the start in obvious pain and distress, he was unable to compete.
So, that's a few injuries there.

Last week I wrote about the 'now or never' moments that define Olympians lives, that in 'regular' lives the pressure is not that intense, we can work towards our goals with much more flexibility.

This week my point is about how outside circumstances can send us off course.
When you think about all the years of work, sacrifice and dedication put in by the gold medal winners, then think about the athletes who got injured. They made the same sacrifices and effort, and in the end they didnt even get a fair crack at it.

Is that unfair?
Well, no. It's not unfair, it's life.

As we work towards our goals, we never know what may be around the corner waiting to derail us.
It may be something we can recover our goal from, but it may be that we can't.

It's the acceptance of that which can make a huge difference to our contentment in life, and whether we even try in the first place.
We can't expect life to be all gold medals and glory, it may just as easily be an injured ankle at just the wrong time. That's just the way it is, and it's how we react that counts.

Ok, that's it for this week, I'm off to polish up my song 'I Tore My HamStrings, You Tore My HeartStrings, What Am I Gonna Do?'

'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

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