Seems a lot of you want to learn from the Olympians and Paralympians? I don't blame you, they are a pretty special bunch of people with good habits that can be transferred to any aspect of your life. So whether your a sporty person, a business person, a student, or a family man/woman, you can learn great lessons from these elite athletes.
Today I am looking at the aspects of the Olympians and Paralympians that start with the letter "V". I chose the letter "V" because I have been doing a lot of thinking about visualisation lately. You see, visualisation is a tool that I used when I was a Paralympian and it is something that I still do now, for all aspects of my life. We will not only be looking at Visualisation, but also Vitality and Vivacity.
As an elite athlete we were taught to spend a significant amount of time visualising our races. This technique was primarily used to create muscle memory. By swimming the race over and over in our minds the way we wanted to swim it, when it actually came time to race our muscles, our bodies would know what to do. Of course, visualisation also created motivation conditions, allowing us to live our perfect race moment and therefore inspiring us in training and racing. As you can see, visualisation is all encompassing in its affectivity. Those at the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 would have visualisation in their arsenal of habits that make them elite. You can use it to . . . but I bet you are wondering how? I will go a little more indepth with visualising in my next blog post, but here's a quick exercise - Sit or lay down comfortably, shut your eyes and calm your breathing. Let the image of what you want to achieve appear in your mind - see everything, smell, touch, and taste everything. Start to do your activity/race/event how YOU want it to go. Focus on what it feels like, both physically and mentally. Remember you are in control!! When you have completed the visualisation do it again, or get up and get on with your day!!! Feel motivated and inspired to achieve your goal.
I am sure you have noticed the Olympians as they walk around the venues, race, relax, hang out, prepare, eat, even sleep, I dare say (though, you probably haven't actually seen them sleep - have you? lol). There is something that exudes from them, it is always there and it is a testament to both their physical and mental health. They have a vitality about them - they seem to sparkle with it, this essence of power and confidence, and it is driven by a meaningful purpose. The Olympians purpose is fairly obvious, they are at the Olympics to compete at their physical best, but this vitality, this purpose, is apparent in every aspect of their lives. Through enthusiasm and constant growth, vitality gets them through the even toughest of times. Do you strive to live a life full of vitality? Do you know how to develop vitality in your own life? Visualisation can help to cultivate vitality! Remember, this is your one and only chance at life, live it to your best, live it with purpose, live it with absolute meaning and you will live a life full of vitality.
A close sibling of Vitality, Vivacity is about excitement, exuberance, and animation. For me, vivacity is having the ability to celebrate openly your achievements, to let your emotions be a part of the experience of life. You will notice that Olympians and Paralympians don't hold back their emotions - a perfect example is the winner of the 400m Hurdles, Felix Sanchez. On the podium receiving his gold, Sanchez broke down (or broke up??), he was so happy, elated, moved by what he had achieved he could not contain his emotions - and why should he? Vivacity is about embracing life to the full and all that comes with it. So make like Sanchez, make like an Olympian/Paralympian and get excited, get moved, get animated in life about your achievements and disappointments. Life is to be lived, why be mute, flat, bored with it, get some vivacity in you!!