Like the rest of the world, I was mesmerized by the Jamaican Olympic track star, Usain Bolt. He’s so tall, so lean and so fast! It was thrilling to watch him win so many gold metals and to witness new world records. There were three things Bolt did before every race that really got my attention.
- He focused on his breath. Most of the Olympians did this actually - they slowed down their breath and focused almost exclusively on it, using it as a stress management tool.
- He gave it up to a higher power. Bolt did the sign of “The Trinity” (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) seconds before each race. No matter what your religion, Bolt's gesture is a great example of how remembering that there is something greater at work, is both comforting and humbling, and another great way to diffuse stress.
- He had fun! Under immense pressure, he was still able to be playful and enjoy the moment. I watched him smile and joke around with his competitors and his fans time and time again. In post race interviews, he said, “I’m looking forward to the next race,” and “I love running”. What a great attitude! It’s refreshing to see an athlete have fun and be in love with his sport at such an intense level of competition.
In my weekly workout classes, I speak often of my admiration for figure skating champ, Katerina Witt, and tennis champ, Roger Federer. Now, the newest addition to my list of revered athletes is Usain Bolt. He has filled me with enough inspiration to last until 2020.