When I was about 8, I watched a documentary on Russian gymnasts who were sent away from their families to attend a boarding school where they trained every day to be Olympic gymnasts. Gymnastics was already my favourite sport at this age, and I did already do gymnastics. The documentary made a big impact and I worked out that I would need to be in the Olympics in 1996, age 14, the optimum age (at that time) for a female gymnast. I thought long and hard about how I was going to do this and (apparently) came back downstairs long after being put to bed and told my parents, deadly serious: "I want you to send me to Russia."
Needless to say they didn't agree, but there is a little part of me that always wonders if I'd have made it...
I did, of course, develop a real love for sports acrobatics and still think it should be an Olympic sport. These photos are my trio competing in British Finals in my final year of competition (before another broken bone ended my gymnastics career!):
Left: I am on the base, Colette in the middle Right: Colette on the base, I'm in the middle & Amy on top & Amy on top
Faster, higher, stronger means something else to me right now. Every day as I am doing my exercises I am trying (really really hard) to improve on the day before. Sometimes physically and emotionally. It might not be the kind of faster, higher, stronger that Olympic athletes work towards, but I think that it is an inspirational motto for life; for everyone; and especially for those recovering from an injury it applies in a more literal sense. It doesn't matter what you do, you should always aim to achieve the best you can possibly achieve. For some lucky people, this might mean an Olympic gold medal. But everyone has their own personal goals and celebrated achievements.
In saying that, I'd like to add my voice to all the Team GB support - I will be cheering them on from across the Atlantic and hope their hard work and years of training for this moment will be rewarded. Go Team GB!!
I would also like to add that my greatest achievement this month has been managing to get my Intelliskin Posture Shirt on all by myself! And actually, that was no small feat!!
FASTER ~ HIGHER ~ STRONGER