Olympics are about inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams

I wish I had a dollar every time someone has asked me, “Are you going to go for another Olympics?”

Prior to this week it was, “Are you going for London?” And now, it’s “So are we going to see you in Rio?”

Oh how I wish there were more hours in the day! While these questions tug at the heartstrings of my athletic heart, at present my husband, Dan, and my focus is on our family and our business, Roach Gymnastics.

The reality of having five children ranging in ages from nine months to 11 years is that IT GOES TOO FAST! There will come a day when they won’t ask me to play with them anymore, so I’m going to drink in every moment of their attention while I can.

I am perfectly content for now to keep my eye on the prize of being an Olympic caliber mom: play mate, taxi driver, lunch maker, tutor, house cleaner, diaper changer, bed time story teller etc. How excited I am to watch my children grow to love family, education, and sports. There is no greater joy than watching your child set and accomplish a goal. And as I watch our children play football, gymnastics, weightlifting and cheerleading I see their personalities transform, and it reminds me of myself at a much younger age.

As a youth I never really had the opportunity to play sports. Playing sports cost money we didn’t have, not to mention time; something all single moms can appreciate. Despite not participating in organized sports as a youth, it didn’t stop me from dreaming.

I remember when I was 9-years-old, watching the 1984 Olympics. Like most kids all across the country, similar to those who watched Gabby Douglas in London capture the gold, I watched Mary Lou Retton with a great amount of interest. Seeing her score a perfect ten on vault is something that will be etched in my mind forever.

It was at that time that I decided to follow in Mary Lou’s footsteps and go to the Olympics as the next great gymnast! (Little did I know that I’d eventually become an Olympian in a sport that, at that time, I knew nothing about.)

I remember proudly walking down the hallway shortly after she competed, and announcing to my family that I was going to the Olympics. I don’t remember their reaction, but I imagine they probably politely acknowledged me and then went back to eating their cornflakes.

I had never tried organized gymnastics before, but that didn’t bother me. And as a completely inexperienced athlete, I didn’t realize that most future Olympians have years of intense training under their belts by the time they are nine years old. But that couldn’t stop me from dreaming.

That’s what the Olympics is all about: Inspiring all of us to go for our dreams.

As we watch members of Team USA stand upon the podium with the national anthem playing and the American flag being raised, I too began to wish I was there. It’s such a great time for reflection, for all of us. A time to celebrate as Americans, appreciate all of their sacrifice and dedication and thinking to ourselves, what goal have we not accomplished yet? Let me stir up your dreams with an excerpt from my book, Lift! Enjoying the Journey of Life, which will be released Fall 2012:

If you want to enjoy the journey of your life, then it’s time to learn to dream again. It’s time to look inside your heart and determine what unique gifts and qualities you possess, and how you’d like to utilize them to fulfill those dreams. And when I say “dreams,” it’s important for me to acknowledge that they come in all shapes and sizes. Big dreams, medium-sized dreams, and dreams that will take the rest of your life to accomplish.

It might be a hobby, a sport, or a musical instrument you’ve always wanted to try. It might be a side business you’d think could be fun and could bring in a little extra money for your family.

No matter what the dreams are that you possess, those dreams are inside of you to be lived out…not to lay dormant on a shelf inside your heart just gathering dust. Just pick a dream, and go for it!