Be the Olympian


The Summer Olympics in London have been a huge hit in our house.  Many conversations and discussions, cheers and excitement surround our living room as this family of five relaxes together.  I’m sure over the next few blogs I will share some of these insights, but something happened during the track and field Olympics that has not left my mind and heart. Something beautiful.  Something to be cherished.  Something to chase.

Each Olympian practices for years to come to this one event, the pinnacle, the climax of their career to take home the gold. Hours of devotion and training, mental preparation and vigorous exercise dedicated to one moment in time to try and be the best in the world.  As I watch night after night, no matter the sport, I find this common theme: endurance, persistence, character and hope.

 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  Romans 5:4

That wasn’t all I caught this past weekend.  Something I sniffed out was even sweeter.  As I watched Sonya Richards-Ross run her 400m race, the cameras found someone in the stands watching, intently, her husband.  Her husband is not just anyone.  He is Aaron Ross, an NFL football player for the Jacksonville Jaguars, formerly a player for the New York Giants.  Aaron’s team is currently in training to prepare for the upcoming NFL preseason.  However, his coaches allowed him to take a three day reprieve to travel to London to watch his lady in the moment of her lifetime.  Did you catch it?

He gave up time to go and be her cheerleader.  I am sure she has spent countless hours watching him run the field.  She has endured a long vigorous football schedule so he can be the best.  She was there cheering him on to do his best for the Superbowl.  And here he was doing it in return.  Love in action.  He was an Olympian husband.

So often, women find themselves, whether stay at home moms or work force moms, battling depression, discouraged and just feeling that life is, well, mundane.  Thinking I had so many dreams.  I wanted to run the big race.  I wanted to further my education.  I wanted to  (fill in the blank!)  But things happen and our schedules hold too much to juggle and we just let those things slip away.  But what if the people we loved most, the men in our lives, our husbands, got behind us and cheered us on.

Here is a lesson we can learn from Aaron Ross, off the field:

- He knew his wife’s dream.  He knew that winning gold meant a lot to her and he wanted to be there to see it all unfold.

- He prioritized his marriage.  He let her know that what she was doing mattered and it was important to him.  He gave up his dream for a few days to see hers come to fruition.

- He celebrated her success.  His fist pumps in the air after her qualifying match sent emotions throughout my body.  I thought how awesome to have a husband cheering her along.  How honored and loved she must feel!

-He did not just tell her to go do it and provide a means for it.  Nope!  He participated in it.  Conversations at home, discussions over phones and around dinner tables.  Talks before and after meets.  Encouraging her along the way.  He was an active participant, not just a sponsor.

Maybe him being there wasn’t a big deal to you, but I thought it was a big deal.  An Olympic gold medal big deal.

I can personally say that when I have had a big “to do” such as my first conference ever publicly speaking to a group of 300, my husband was there and not just for the “big event.”  He was there from the birth of  the dream.  He listened to my concerns, he rebounded my discouragements and pushed my limits to more than I thought was in me.  When I felt lead to try something new, he did not hold me back, but rather helped to cover the possibilities and find the best course on the map!

Bottom line, whether its you or your husband, for that matter, best friend, parent, brother or sister, get on board to cheer them on from the start – and not the start line of their final race, but from the moment they speak their dream.  Encourage them.  Check in on them.  Love them.  It takes endurance and perseverance.  It is easy to just give up, throw up our hands and walk away, but when those who love us are there beside us believing in us and we put our trust in God to carry us through, all things are possible.

Love in action.

“You finally did it, you finally did it, babe,” he told her. “Enjoy the moment.” – Aaron Ross

Bravo, Aaron and Sonya Ross.  Your love and devotion to one another is inspiring.

“So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”  -Ephesians 5:33

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