Monday, February 22, 2010
There’s a look I can’t forget on Julia Mancuso’s face: pure happiness, excitement and thrill, and this is before she flew out of the gate at the top of that hill at the Olympics this year in Vancouver. She was thrilled to be there. She was full of joy. And she kicked that hill’s ass as she swept down at lightening speeds, eventually taking home a silver in the women’s downhill.
The women skiers in this year’s Olympics have been inspiring me. And enlightening. While many people watch for the sport, I find myself analyzing athlete’s theory. Most were intense and focused, hard core as they prepared to jump out of the gate. Staring hard ahead, gritting of teeth. Some you could tell were hesitant, or scared as they skied that icy hill. These overly intense or hesitant women, in the end, didn’t win.
Occasionally the cameras caught Lindsey Vonn in her preparation mode, doing her visualization. Eyes closed, body contorting, she was visualizing in her head the course and her successful maneuvering of each curve and bump. When I saw this, I knew exactly what she was doing. Smart lady! At the starting gate, she was focused but again like Julie, that joy of life exuded from her and the speed was intense as she took those corners and jumps with grace. At the end of the hill, her smile and laughter made all of us at home smile along with her. Pure joy—and gold.
I’ve been thinking about these different styles and which ones were the most successful and which ones left them without a medal. When you do what you love with pure joy of life, of course you will win. If you stress and force it, the pressure will get to you. Sometimes the letting go of the stress and pressure is the hardest thing of all, but allowing yourself to feel the joy of what you do is what will lead to your eventual success. Eyes wide open, taking in the moments, feeling your success at each step: what great life reminders.
I’m in an in-between stage right now. Between seasons, from old to new clients and projects, between phases of projects. I trust myself enough to enjoy this time and to experience it with eyes wide open. It certainly hasn’t always been that way, this trust, but watching the women’s downhill confirmed what I was already feeling. When you do what you love with intent and joy, it manifests as success.