torch twoA guest blog by  Jody Payne

Tonight I crept out of my writer’s cave to hear an interview with an obvious non-athlete at the Olympian Games. He talked of the athlete’s desire to change the world.

Excuse me? Are you kidding?

I have worked with some extraordinary athletes in the horse ring. Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near their quality. I just happen to know them.

To my knowledge, the ones I know are not out to change the world.

These dedicated human beings don’t waste a lot of time thinking about the State of the Union, what the Dow is doing, or which way to the nearest photographer.

Do you honestly believe when a skier is standing at the top of an obscenely high mountain looking down and waiting for the signal to descend she is thinking about changing the world?

Get real. She is visualizing the perfect run. They know there has to be luck on any particular day, but they also know they are so incredibly good that today this run can prove they are the absolute best in the world.medals

That’s a horrible, exacting standard to live with. However, somehow, these particular athletes get up every morning and face it.

Let’s don’t strap them with changing the world too.

Here’s the takeaway for this particular tirade: If each of us put the effort into being the best we could possibly be, if every morning we rolled out of bed and did the absolute best we could at what we do, we might just change our own personal world.

Of course, that doesn’t always happen. Rolling out of bed is the most some of us can handle some days. Just showing up is a major victory.

Been there. Done that.

Tomorrow is another day. Do better.

It’s tough, this reaching for perfection. And now we expect our athletes to change the world?

No wonder ballplayers take drugs.

Before you start with the hate mail, I’m not condoning drugs. Far from it. Let’s just make a deal with them.

You do your best, without drugs, and we won’t expect you to change the world.

Does this sound like a fair deal to you?

I’m just saying…


Jody Payne isjody

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.

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