Shining bright for all to see

Posted by on in Inspiration, Thoughts, Words | 0 comments

 

I have been thinking about all the amazing women athletes who have been competing in the Olympic and Paralympic games in London this summer. How can I not be? For the first time ever there were women representing every competing country in the Olympics, Lizzie Armistead was the first Briton to win a medal for Team GB and more British Olympic gold medals have been won by women than ever before. The first British gold medal of the Paralympics was won by Sarah Storey and women of all nations are showing that they equal (and often exceed) the achievements of the men. There were countless examples of women showing their strength, determination and passion, and being accepted for themselves as athletes before any other consideration.

Hannah Cockroft Winning Gold

Even the women who didn’t win medals have been achieving great things, exceeding their personal bests and showing us that striving for improvement and being proud of our achievements, even if they aren’t quite what we hoped for, is better than never trying. Aiming high and falling short is nothing to be ashamed of, and in doing so, we have learned more about ourselves and of the world around us; maybe we can try harder, or maybe we can redirect our energy elsewhere.  Our athletes being graceful in defeat and enjoying the achievements of others is so admirable. Acknowledging the hard work and dedication of others, in potentially more difficult circumstances than their own, is something I have admired most of all. Sometimes it’s someone else’s turn to shine that bit brighter and that’s ok. Our own turn will come.

 

Sarah Attar the 1st woman athlete to compete for Saudi Arabia

I’m ridiculously proud of them all, and want to tell them all that their hard work, dedication and determination is seen and appreciated. And then maybe give them a hug too*. Seeing  Ellie Simmonds  power through the water like a goddess of the water and then talk to the interviewers like any other woman would, bemused, overwhelmed, worn out and yet so excited by what she had achieved whether a gold medal or not. It’s no surprise she’s an MBE already, I have no doubt she will continue to achieve great things in her life, in and out of the pool. Such an inspiration!

Congratulating the Victor

Sharing the love

Another thing that I am really glad of is that there are so many shapes, colours and sizes of women competing, all striving to attain their best, all strong and all beautiful. Their confidence is a sight to behold. Merely appearing in front of crowds of thousands and with cameras beaming their images around the globe is something that deserves respect and a big shiny medal.  It all reminds me that while how you look is a factor, how you feel about how you look is much more important. Self confidence is a powerful thing and being content within your own skin is one of the most empowering tools you can use to make yourself look good. You could have ticked every box about what ‘should’ theoretically look good, but if you’re not comfortable it really does show. A patriotic manicure seems to be quite helpful too.

 

We can all learn from these women because they are just like us. The bright eyes, happy smiles and positive friendly attitudes are so attractive. The confidence in the way they move speaks volumes and even if they are frightened inside, they are taking control of themselves and saying “I can do this!”. We can all be that strong if we put our minds to it, and we should remember to be kind to ourselves when our strength desn’t take us as far as we’d like.There are so many stories from the athletes saying they thought they’d given their all and then managed to find reserves within them that push them that bit further, faster, harder, higher and so on. It just goes to show you don’t know what it is you can achieve until you really give things a go, and that sometimes you are much stronger than you ever thought possible.

Sophie showed us all how dressage should be done.

Triple gold medal-winning Sophie showed us all how dressage should be done.

 

*and maybe then cry a bit; there has been a lot of that this summer, both tears of  joy and frustration and you would not believe how often the sight of a raised bouquet of flowers has brought me to that ‘there must be something in my eye again’ moment

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