I know I am not the only one who waits for these 3 weeks as patiently as possible for 4 years....there is something about the Summer Olympics that makes you glued to the TV for hours in awe of the various cultures, countries, and sports all competing for the glorious Olympic Gold medal. I think so far my jaw has dropped to the floor at minimum 6 times:
Watching Simone Biles fly higher than any athlete during her nearly perfect floor routine.
Michael Phelps. Come on now. 23 Gold medals.
Usain Bolt crossing the line as the fastest man in the world 3 Olympics in a row.
This....no words really but thanks for that Brazil. I guess.
My beloved friends of the USWNT losing in the quarterfinals 😢😢
And lastly, a moment my jaw dropped for a whole different reason on tuesday when Abbey D'Agostino fell in her 5000 Meter race.
Throughout all my ACL injuries, I have really started to believe in the feeling of "trusting your gut." No, I'm not what your mind try to convince you you can or cannot do on a daily basis...I'm talking about the gut feeling. The one you had when you tore your ACL and knew exactly what it was. The one that you trust when you have to tell coach "I can't train today, my gut is telling me I need a little more rest."
I get this same gut feeling when I see things like Abbey D'Agostino's fall. I just know. It is a gut feeling and a feeling that hurts my gut too usually making me sick to my stomach. The ACL club connects us in an inexplicable way. When D'Agostino fell my first thought was her knee.
The point of this whole thing is not that we join the club (believe me I would be happy if not one more person joined theACLclub for the rest of eternity!)...the point is it is all in our reaction to our situation.
For D'Agostino, she reacted like the champ and Olympian she truly is...She reached down to help the girl up that just tumbled with her (Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand)...then, she finished the race! (Brief pause while I pick my jaw up off of the floor again!)
Here is D'Agostino's account of the situation:
"There was about 2k to go, I was still feeling controlled, and was mentally preparing to focus and maintain contact with the lead group for the final grind," D'Agostino said Wednesday morning in a statement. "Then in a split second, there was a woman on the ground in front of me, I tripped on her, someone behind me tripped on me, and I was on the ground. Although my actions were instinctual at the moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way. This whole time here he's made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance -- and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it."
As athlete's sometimes we get caught up in the WIN WIN WIN mentality...and I don't condone that because if you want to be the best that is a necessary mindset. But, only when it is balanced with the mentality of humility and gratitude. Did D'Agostino want to win that race on Tuesday? Of course she did!! She wanted her chance at the Olympic Gold. But in a split second that changed...
We all can relate to that. All of us have felt that split second change.
It is how we react that is going to make us successful. D'Agostino reaction was priceless. She reached out a helping hand and then kept her end goal in mind. I am not saying to push through injuries...I am saying that although a setback has been put in your path, don't loose sight of the goals you want to accomplish because it is still possible to reach, or go beyond, them.
We are a community of people who find hope in one another scars because they are proof that it is more than possible to succeed to great heights after an ACL injury. You all are welcome and supported here where we show our scars with pride because of all they have taught us.
Let's choose to support one another. Help each other out when we need it. Mostly, let's choose to react in a positive way to our injuries and setbacks as much as we can. Express your fears, doubts, and negative thoughts when necessary, but be someone who chooses to see how this process helps you grow substantially.
Lastly, I want to leave you all with D'Agostino's account of the community she was a part of in Rio. I think her words are powerful and should be heard.
"By far the best part of my experience of the Olympics had been the community it creates, what the Games symbolizes. Since the night of the opening ceremonies, I have been so touched by this -- people from all corners of the globe, embracing their unique cultures, yet all uniting under one celebration of the human body, mind and spirit. I just keep thinking about how that spirit of unity and peace is stronger than all the global strife we're bombarded with and saddened by on a daily basis."Stay positive ACLubbers and always #showyourscars with pride🙌🏽