The Olympics is often an exciting time for many, ranging from the big to the small, the young to the old. The Olympics is more than just a “competition” it is a place where individuals representing all walks of life, come to represent the place they call home, inspire the many who dream to achieve greatness and to bring a smile to each and every one of our faces. The road to the Olympics is not literally set in stone, but rather, resides in the minds and hearts of those who have the will to believe.
An athlete who willed herself past many obstacles in life, who chose to not let any “hurdles” stand in her way, is Lolo Jones. When faced with any mental, emotional, spiritual or physical setbacks, instead of being overcome with a sense of defeat, she simply, and quite literally, jumped over them. Lolo’s story of determination, faith and an unbreakable will, has opened our eyes and inspired us to firmly embed our most precious beliefs in our hearts and never let their light grow dim.
Lolo Jones has been “leaping” over life’s “hurdles” since childhood and it is possible, because of her firm belief of what was in her realm of possibility. She had no contract initially and had to run races in order to “make ends meet”, since she got compensated for every race ran. Being a University student, working as a hostess at a restaurant, a gardener for a large retailer and running the equivalent of two track seasons in a single season would be deemed “intense”, by any means! As gruelling as her schedule was, Lolo was constantly fuelled by her “will” to make her dreams and beliefs become a reality.
She would train six days a week, often four to six hours a day, in order to “master her craft”. This may seem absurd and even farfetched, to think that one individual, juggling this many responsibilities, would be able to not only handle but excel at her task. Things like this are often immeasurable by traditional means, but often produce extraordinary results! Taking this into perspective, Lolo was doing things that many of us may deem “impossible”, but yet that word would have no meaning to her.
St. Augustine stated, “Faith is to believe what you do not see. The reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” This statement may have been similar to Lolo’s inner dialogue, every time she sat in the class room, worked a shift and laced up her shoes to begin training.
At the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, Lolo was sitting at home crying, as she watched the events on television, since she did not make the national team. Four years later at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, she stated, “I think it’s so ironic that I’m sitting in Beijing, on the track crying. So what I take away from this is, maybe in four years I’ll be crying, but they won’t be tears of sadness but tears of joy.”
Many may not see the beauty in this statement because many of us do not often see our dreams weaving themselves into our daily lives. Lolo’s will, to make her dreams a part of her daily life, brought her exactly what she desired. She was initially upset because she did not make the 2004 team, but in 2008 she was a star member of that same team.
We should take a moment each day to observe the small signs that are being weaved into our daily journey, based off our beliefs. This will always keep our goals in our present moment, rather than at a distant unknown time.
Prior to the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Lolo Jones visited Dr. Robert S. Bray, jr. Dr. Bray is a surgeon at the DISC Sports and Spine Center, who discovered an “issue” with Lolo’s spine. It turns out that a low position of her spinal cord resulted in a constant pulling of her spine, which caused sensory loss in her feet. “She was unable to tell where her feet and toes were”, stated by Bray. He felt confident that a “simple” surgery would alleviate this pull and bring back feeling to her feet.
Now for a professional runner, hearing you need surgery on your feet may not only result in fear, but possibly “shatter” any hopes one may have had for “greatness”. Lolo had her fears, but slowly and surely trained, to keep her dreams alive.
In January of this year, Lolo competed against a highly decorated and intense group of hurdlers. She was facing, the ranked 4th in the world, the 2010 U.S. title holder, the 2011 U.S. indoor and outdoor champion, the British record holder and the 2008 Olympic champion. This was the “hurdle” placed in front of her, for her first race back, after surgery. For an event such as this, one would almost count anyone out, but when you believe before you see, anything you desire is possible.
Lolo simply believed in her dream and went on to win this race, in incredible fashion, resulting in a complete sense of joy and a smile from ear to ear! When questioned about her seemingly miraculous performance, she stated, “I’m so happy I could run again and perform well”.
It was always the little things that seemed to propel Lolo forward, the things that are often hard to see and are immeasurable, are usually things that are not often tangible. It was her will to believe, that drove her towards her dreams!
Lolo is now awaiting her event at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, still weaving her dreams into her daily life, while encouraging us all to do the same! “There are going to be a lot of times when you want to give up on your dream, but if you keep at it, keep working hard you can get it”. Whenever we feel to give up, slack off, postpone something for another day, think of Lolo Jones.
Each day she did more than the last, each day she used to the fullest, each day she chose to not stop doing what she loved, all because she believed.
A belief starts within, but can be manifested through our willpower, into our physical reality. The only thing that seems to prevent this, most often, is the same energy we would use to fulfill our desire. It is just used in reverse. Read this following sentence slowly, whatever we choose to believe, firmly in our hearts, is exactly what will be produced in our daily lives.
If we choose to think about defeat, misery, doubt and worry, we will produce only those beliefs. If we chose to think about success, abundance, happiness, love and health, those same things will flow into our daily lives. The choice has always been ours, if we decide to make it.
“I want to cross that line for everybody out there who’s seen my story or lifted me up and finally say WE did it!”
– Lolo Jones
Let us all “cross that line” we placed in our lives and begin to enjoy what we have been chasing our entire lives…our dreams. Let us arrive at our destination and not let our wishes elude us any longer. Any time a “hurdle” presents itself, let us flawlessly jump over that hurdle and continue on our journey to greatness.
Thank you Lolo Jones, for facing adversity with a smile.
Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
– David Frost