Sunday, June 16, 2013

With a happy soul comes great training

I find that I am at my physical best when I am happy and having fun training.  Part of this is having balance in my life.  Every day of every week I push my body to the absolute maximum.  This of course is followed up with countless cold tubs and massage to try and alleviate the sore muscles.  Some athletes take their recovery to the extremes by spending hours in front of a television or computer playing video games.  I often wonder if other athletes are creating balance in their lives and what kind of ‘recovery’ is done for the heart and soul?    

When I started working at the Boys and Girls Club in 2010 I did not fully grasp the impact these children were going to have on me.  I expected to go into the club a few hours a week, do what I could to help in ways that were needed and go home, unphased back to my self-centered training lifestyle.  This has not been the case. To me, my In The Arena project at the Boys and Girls Club has helped to keep me grounded and understand the impact I can have on just one person.  It is my recovery for my soul.  I feel good about what I do there and in turn I am able to keep in my mind the bigger picture in life.  I find when my heart and soul feel good my body and training follow suit. 

I wanted other athletes at the Olympic Training Center to have the opportunity to feel this way and to be uplifted and inspired by kids at the Boys and Girls Club.  Most athletes have very busy schedules and are unable to take time away from training to physical go to the club, so instead I have created an Olympic Athlete Pen Pal Program.  This is designed to connect kids at the Boys and Girls Club with Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls at the Olympic Training Center.  Each week the kids at the club learn how to write a different type of letter.  The first week they learned how to write a formal business letter and this week they learned a friendly letter format.  After turning in their letters each week the kids anxiously wait for their pen pal to respond. 

Many of the athletes have already told me that they have had great days of training the days they receive each of their letters.  My hope is as the program progresses the athletes will get just as much out of the letters as I know the kids do.  For the kids this is hope and proof that their dreams can come true and for the athletes it is way to give back to the community and to focus on recovering in a different way.


Joey Arone said...

Don't be discouraged by the lack of comments. Your posts just leave us speechless and send us into an instant state of reflection, analysis, and motivation. Thank you!