An Olympics Mishmash Vision Board for Inspiration. Find Your Sculling Sloth.

On this week’s theme of building habits for your success, I can’t help but include the Olympics. As much as I joke about the hotness of the Olympians — except girls’ gymnastics, the one sport I think the world really is sincere about — it’s more because of the unbelievable aesthetics we see at first glance which no one can deny. It is the pinnacle of the human body.  Even when I was a dancer, I was in awe at the dancers in the Ailey company, where I trained, because it pushed the boundaries of what the body is capable of. In layman’s terms you can simply say ‘hot,’ but what we mean is awesome as in its true definition: awe inspiring.

Much of what Olympians have is God-given talent. If you see their videos of when these Olympians were toddlers or just little kids, there is no question that you have to be born with a little extra. But there is also no question of their dedication, sacrifices, and astounding discipline. Just seeing how many cameras are in their faces, as I saw last night in the face of teenager Gabby Douglas, you can get a new found respect. (I would’ve been like: I’m fighting for a medal, I got pressure, trying to concentrate, get out of my f@**in face!!! This is why I’m not in the Olympics. Yes, of all the reasons, that is the biggest of course).

One of the keys to building good habits that will get you to where you want to go — because though it’s about the journey, results keep you going on that road — is visualization. Every great athlete and performer does it. Have a vision board. Go forth. Don’t think. Do. Write. Your opponents are the blank page and you. Your field is the laptop/computer/typewriter/notebook.

I know, what’s the point of a commercial where you can barely see Ryan Lochte, but this shows why he’s an Olympian and not just the missing cast member of “Magic Mike” (that would’ve taken that movie to another level; maybe in the sequel?)

Begins with “Luck doesn’t get you to the Olympic Games.” Ends with “I swam here.” They all swam, volleyed, did their thing to get where they are. So can you.

Looking at the Olympians, it’s easy to think, well they’re just special. You may not be an Olympian but you got your own game.

This kid has the same discipline as an Olympian. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you started. It’s where you finish.  What are your boundaries? Your fears? Push them.

I love this Powerade commercial because you have to feel for the athletes who may not be getting the sponsors and airtime. Though they don’t care. The most highly Tweeted name: Ryan Lochte. You know the swimmer who took home a gold medal by winning the 100m? Nathan Adrian.

“Because there’s a favorite and then there’s everyone else. But this isn’t you vs. them. It’s you vs. you. Favorites don’t shock the world. YOU DO.”

This is the same ad but runs in Canada. Yes, we are not the center of the universe despite what NBC’s coverage may infer. In fact, ads in Europe and elsewhere are often much better than the watered down versions we get here. This one has different music (gorgeous music: “Requiem For My Friend” by Zbigniew Preisner) and different text narrated by a hypnotic voice — none other than the great Al Pacino, Michael Corleone himself.


Powerade has one more commercial that I loved but didn’t include that has the following words of wisdom (or a call to colonialism-intention is key many times): Greatness isn’t given. It’s taken. 

Who would’ve thunk and yet thunk they did. A great ad that features complex villain Bane, from “Dark Knight Rising” — who has his own Olympian body and skills next to Bale’s Batman.  I love that I can interject Dark Knight and Christopher Nolan, another Olympian in his field, into my vision board. Now, if only if Tom Hardy had done this commercial in his Bane voice (though no one could understand it and the speakers would be blown).


Finally, I leave you with the Sculling Sloth: Niger’s Hamadou Djibo Issaka, a gardener by profession who competitively swam and, as per Olympic rules that every country on the Olympic committee has to have an entrant, he was chosen as the wild card.  My man trained for all of 3 months. He fell off the boat the first time he got in. He’s not breaking any records, getting any medals, making any covers with an oiled up half naked body, or getting any sponsorships.  But he competed and gave it his all and audiences loved him for it. No shame, no comparing himself to others. Just competing at his best. With a smile all the way.  The Olympic Spirit.

I’m an Olympian, bitches! (in tribute to Jesse of “Breaking Bad”)


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