Go to Rio!

It’s Olympics time again when we get a chance to see the world’s best athletes pit their skills against each other while we surprise everyone, even ourselves, with how much we know about every sport. Hail the lounge-chair experts!

We can learn a lot from the Olympics. (Other, of course, than our parents and other teachers got it wrong when they taught us that cheats never prosper.) Consider, for example, the 7Fs; those key qualities that help us to add years to our life and life to our years. Olympians, too, can make use of the 7Fs to help inform what they must do. Here are just a few example to consider.

Food. Diet provides the fuel that enables Olympians to do what they set out to do. When we stress the importance of hunger as a key motivator, ‘hunger’ is definitely a metaphor when we’re talking about successful competing.
Fitness. Regular, targeted exercise is the great enabler – the true performance enhancer.
Friendships. We know that friendships can help to add years to our life, so competing at Rio can be life changing for many. Sport and the Olympics provide great opportunities to make life-long friendships.
Future. Always having something to look forward to is for many competing athletes, turning up at Rio, achieving a personal best, and hopefully medalling. The question for all competing athletes (and us) must then be, ‘What’s next?’
Finances. Turning up in Rio is a costly exercise both for the battling athletes and the wealthy ones. So, keeping in check those finances is most important.
Fun. Competitors as fun-seekers is not a hedonistic pursuit. Not only should competing be fun but it also is a key motivator and de-stressor.
Faith. A positive attitude is essential for successful competition. And a belief in something other than self ensures continuing focus.

Whether or not you’re an Olympians or a lounge-chair expert, age does not discriminate. We’re all participant in the ageing process. In the blink of an eye, we go from competing at Rio to forgetting the words to Peter Allen’s reference to that great city. So, when the dust settles after Rio, the challenge for all of us is to embrace Bridget Bardot’s observation, ‘It’s sad to grow old, but nice to ripen’.

Here’s hoping that Rio helps to make all of our lives riper.