If you’re watching the Olympics, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term sacrifice thrown about over and over when it comes to commentary on the athletes. This is usually in reference to how these athletes have “sacrificed so much” to get where they are.
Well, NBC, or whoever else might be weighing in on this topic, I cry foul on that one and here’s why: When you get to do what you truly love, when doing that something has the potential to take you to the top–all the way to the Olympics–it’s not about sacrifice.
Yes, all these athletes have had to give things up along the way: A “normal” existence, especially in the case of the younger athletes who might give up the every day school and youth experiences.
But, I’d bet if you ask these athletes if they really feel like they’re missing out, that they’re really sacrificing for their sport, the answer would be no. They’re the lucky ones–they’ve found a passion, they’ve got talent and dedication, and they’re following their dreams. They happily “sacrifice” all the spoils of normal life to have this opportunity. When people comment that they have given up so much to get where they are, I think they don’t really understand what it’s like to have something in life that you love, something for which you willingly sacrifice other things.
I think on our amateur, every day athletic existence, we can all relate to this. We all quite willingly give up parts of our social lives, sleeping in past seven, eating foods that aren’t going to help us achieve our goals, and even money that we might spend otherwise. We know what we love and we do what it takes to keep at it. No sacrifice there.
It really comes down to choices and when you are able to choose to pursue your passions, there is no sacrifice.
What do you think–do the Olympians truly sacrifice to get where they are? Do you feel like you sacrifice to do what you want?