I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the Olympics. I love watching all of the athletes from around the world come together and strut their stuff. Whenever I watch with my parents, I often say, “Oh yeah, I can do that,” or “I taught the entire team how to do that move.” In reality though, I sometimes struggle walking in a straight line or catching a ball, let alone doing a triple back handspring or bicycle kicking a soccer ball.
Every Olympian once started as an amateur. Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, and Usain Bolt were not born great athletes; they had to work hard to reach their full potential. Each of us has the ability to reach our full potential and become our own Olympian. Maybe that’s achieving the grade we’ve always wanted in a difficult class, trying out for the sports team, joining a new CDE team, developing a new SAE, creating an agriscience fair project, or even having the courage to say hello to a new student. Whatever it may be, we all have the ability to become Olympians. Where do we begin?
Make a grand entrance. Every Olympic games begins the same way: a torch relay from Olympia, Greece to the Olympic stadium in the host city, a presentation of all of the participating countries’ flags, and a flourish of lights, color, and excitement. In the same way, we should start every day the same: with confidence. Whether that be always wearing a smile, wearing your favorite outfit, or reading an inspirational quote to get you ready for the day, begin each day ready to take on the world. Wherever we go, whatever we may be doing, we should make a grand entrance and radiate with confidence, knowing each of us has the ability to do something amazing.
Eat, sleep, work hard, repeat. Greatness is achieved by continuous improvement. We can earn that awesome grade, receive a spot on that new team, be successful with our SAE or agri-science project, or make a new friend by working hard at what we do and making sure we are always giving our best effort.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Every Olympic athlete had to try their sport for the first time. What if Kerri Walsh had said “No, I’m too nervous to play volleyball. What if I’m not good?” She never would have become a gold medalist in beach volleyball at three different Olympic games. We all hold that same potential. What if we were too scared to try something new and missed an opportunity like Kari had? It’s okay to be nervous. It’s okay to be scared. We just have to try.
Make it count. We are not guaranteed any amount of time. Olympians are not guaranteed a second chance to play their sport. This year, let’s choose to make every moment count, to live our lives to the fullest, and to pursue our dreams without looking back.
Go for the Gold. Why settle for “good enough” when we could strive for greatness? What if instead of saying, “That dream is too big,” we said “How can we dream bigger”? What if we tried to achieve the “gold medal” in our lives? Let’s dare to risk boldly, to go for the gold, to strive for greatness this school year. What does that look like for you?
For me and more than 100 other Minnesota FFA members, going for the gold means competing in the Olympics of FFA--National FFA Convention. I’m on a team with more than 100 Minnesota FFA Olympians who get to showcase their talents and achievements with the other FFA Olympians from across the United States. My sport is the AgriScience Fair. My goal is to place in the top three with my project on biogas production. I know that in order to achieve that goal, I need to review the contents of my project, practice doing mock interviews, and continue to learn more about biogas so I can be at my full potential for National Convention. I can’t wait to see what the Minnesota FFA members accomplish in October and beyond.
Each of us has unlimited amounts of potential that can take us where we want to go. This school year, let’s use that potential. Let’s become Olympians.
Stationed by the ear of corn,