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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Learning from watching Olympic athletes

Confessions of a Fitness Trainer

During the recent Summer Olympic Games, I was glued to the television flipping between channels each evening and into the early morning. Normally, I prioritize getting to bed at a reasonable hour to allow for plenty of sleep but not during the Olympics. There are just too many amazing moments, unforgettable stories, and cool events to watch. As a sports fan, I find the Olympics both fascinating and awe inspiring. 

And as much as the athletes appear to be superhuman, flawless beings from another world, there are actually many things that they have in common with us mere mortals. 

While you may not be aspiring to be the next Penny Oleksiak or Andre Degrasse, there are a few things you can observe over the last few days of the Tokyo Olympic Games that may shift your perspective on your own personal health and fitness journey. 

  1. Just like the rest of us, Olympic athletes come in all different shapes and sizes. You may have noticed that within each sport there are some similarities of how the athletes are built (for instance basketball players tend to be tall) however, if you watch a wide variety of events you’ll notice athletes of all different builds that are very successful in their respective disciplines. 
  2. The athletes have worked hard for a very long time to get where they are. Most of them have applied consistent training and lifestyle habits for many, many years. And yet, sometimes we expect a new workout or nutrition habit to yield instant results. Life just doesn’t work like that.
  3. If you listen to any of their post event interviews, most of the athletes will indicate that they focussed their efforts on the process (the things they could control such as training habits, nutrition choices, and preparing adequately for their events) and let the results take care of themselves. This is akin to you focussing on executing healthy habits in your life without stressing about results (which are actually outside of your control).
  4. It may be tricky to see but their performances are rarely flawless. They are aiming to be at their best at the right time but their games, routines, and races aren’t really ever perfect. 

Tips of the day

*Remember that not everyone is meant to have the same shape and size. Embrace what your body can do rather than fret over how you look.

*Consistency and sustainability are key when adopting new healthy habits into your life.

*Focus on the elements of your life that you can control (such as creating consistent daily healthy habits) and do the best you can with what you’ve got. Perfection doesn’t really exist. 

Kathryn McKenzie – B.H.Kin, B.Ed

Certified Kinesiologist, Sport Conditioning Specialist & Personal Trainer

Author, Pizza Lover & Owner of Surefire Fitness

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