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1st Aug

2012

What We Can Learn From Olympians

Once again, we have had the chance to watch the incredible Olympians in action, be in awe of their fantastic skills and performances, and witness the enormous emotional pressure on the athletes, and highs and lows following competition. Although these are exceptional individuals who are far more competitive than the vast majority of us, we can learn from them and be inspired to do better in life in general.

We know that none of the medalists would have accomplished their tasks, had they not been completely dedicated to their preplanned training schedule and lifestyle. They set their goals clearly, knew what they had to do to physically and mentally prepare themselves, and they went to work with 100% discipline in following their plan. If they came out a little short, it was often because they could not, or did not, completely commit to their plan. Even the greatest Olympian of all times, Michael Phelps, admitted that he was beaten at the end of the 200 meter butterfly because he had not totally pushed himself in the finish during practices.

The elite athlete who gets injured, and who has to go through a rehabilitation program likewise knows that he/she must completely devote themselves to the rehab process, in order to recover and to ultimately reach their goals. The same is true for the rest of us. If we start a rehab program in the clinic, but do not take responsibility for our own health by not following through with home exercises and modifications to our daily activities, we are deluded in thinking that we can achieve excellent outcomes. The rehab process itself is often not very fun, and may be inconvenient and interfere with normal daily activities, and results are seldom instantaneous. Just like the Olympians sticking to their grueling training regimen in order to experience the elation and glory of victory, we have to stick to our rehabilitation programs in order to get well, have less or no pain, and to be able to get back to activities that we enjoy in life.

One big reason why the people we see on TV are Olympians is that they have mastered the quality called discipline. Although the rest of us may not be able to quite live up to their standards, a bit of self-assessment, and commitment to taking charge of our own health will help many of us live a more active and enjoyable life.
Enjoy the rest of the Olympic Games!

With best wishes for continued good health,

Gunnar

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