The motto of the Special Olympics is “Let me win, but if I can not win, let me brave in the attempt.” With 6,500 athletes and 2,000 coaches representing 165 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event this year.
This past week I took the time to watch the Special Olympics World Games. Something I have never done before. After watching these athletes compete and hearing some of their stories, I am truly inspired. From the outside most of them don’t look like the rest of us, but on the inside most of them are better than the rest of us.
One athlete said I don’t worry about what I can’t do, I do the best at what I can do. I have gained confidence in myself. Confidence to push myself to the limits to be the best I can be. I do the best with what I do have and I don’t worry about what I don’t have. I could sit around all day and do nothing but what is the fun in that. The American Dream is about working hard and doing the best you can.
How many of us are so consumed and worried about trying to have more, trying to keep up with the Jones’s, trying to get a bigger house, faster car, a better spouse that we lose track of what we do have. I had a smaller house that I grew up in and I never thought it was small. It was all we needed. The average home in 1970 was 1523 square feet. In 2013 it was 2384 square feet. Adjusted for inflation, the prices of these homes today cost 32% more than they did 35 years ago. What could we all do with less? Less house equals less house payment equals less stress, less cleaning and less distance between others in your house. We don’t have to have bigger, better, more of this world. What could we all do with more money, more freedom, more joy, and more time with loved ones. Whether it is your job, your house, your car, your spouse, or your abilities be content with what you have and do the best you can with that.
Another athlete finished first in the 100 meter dash and second in the 200 meters. In her interview she said it’s okay, you don’t have to be first all the time. The most important thing is being a good sport and cheering on your teammates. This is the same athlete who is also battling cancer but quit her treatments so she could compete in these games.
Are you always trying to be first and when you don’t do you get upset? Do you forget how lucky you are just to be able to compete? Do you remember your coaches and teammates that helped you get to where you are? When another teammate messes up do you help pick them up or do you kick them when they are down?
Another athlete said he has to practice, do the hard work and have the dedication to try even when he doesn’t feel like it. He has to be consistent in his training. Then I know win or lose, I did my best today.
How many of us say I can’t run, I can’t eat healthy, I can’t find time for my kids, instead of saying I can and I will find a way. I can’t is a powerful phrase. It makes the possible impossible. However I can is even more powerful. Once you get it in your mind that you can, you will. My wife said she can’t run a marathon. Then we would watch The Biggest Loser and watch the contestants turn their I can’ts into I can and run one. She ran her first marathon and now feels silly for all the times she said she couldn’t because now she can and she does.
Appreciate your uniqueness, appreciate your haves and don’t worry about your have not’s. No matter what you do go all in and don’t give up. It may take time but you will reach your goals. All of us have a light inside us. All of us has a power that can’t be extinguished. Will you let your light shine?
Don’t let your first impression be your last impression. Get to know someone and you may be surprised how much they can make you a better person.
Reach Up By O.A.R feat. Cody Simpson – theme song for the Special Olympics
Fly by Avril Lavigne – for the Special Olympics –
Rise Up – Special Olympic Closing Ceremony Film –
Never Give Up –
God’s Will by Martina Mcbride –
We Can Do It by Geoff Levin –
Along The Way by Tylee Ross –
Special Olympics through the eyes of the athletes –
The story of Tim Harris –
Nick Vujicic –
Share the Journey –
You and I by Tania Fiza Rozlan –