I’m going to guess that we’ve all seen at least a half dozen or more Olympic events on NBC since the opening ceremonies on August 5. It is inspiring to say the least, watching as each athlete aspires to accomplish his/her goal of winning gold.
Now, let's take a mind/body look at how Olympic athletes go after such lofty goals. An Olympian doesn’t appear to practice “moderation” much at all. They have an aggressive workout regimen and I'm certain a special diet for proper nutrition and fueling. (If you read my blog regularly, you already know that “moderation” is a word that I tend to preach to create balance in mind and body.) This begs a question - is it possible to find balance without moderation? It appears so.
While the rest of us mere mortals continue to follow a moderate level of working out without competition, expectation or judgment, Olympians are hard at work. The extreme focus, determination, talent, and some may even say obsession to become an Olympic athlete, is part of what makes them special.
Now, take another look at the Olympic athlete and you'll see that nearly every medalist has some sort of calming ritual to find relaxation of the mind and body, so that one may visualize a win before an event. This is clearly a form of meditation.
Whether it’s wearing headphones -to listen to music or to gain silence- or shadow boxing to create a rhythm that brings calmness –or even soaking in a hot tub to stay loose while visualizing a win, these are all forms of meditation. Meditation brings the mind and body together as one (with breath).
In these examples, the athlete is bringing the mind into a state of calmness so that the body can stay in high gear- this push/pull brings the two sides, mind/body, into balance- knowing that at times one must be stronger than the other to find balance.
So, the next time you face a major challenge in life whether it’s physical or mental, just become an Olympian and find a way to bring the mind and body back into balance.