The Upbeat Dad: Life Lessons from The Olympian

Today’s article, on the surface, might appear to be about an Olympic athlete. But if you look deeper, it’s a lesson for every person. Each of us has goals, dreams and ideals that we seek. For many of us, we struggle for years before we get that breakthrough that we’ve yearned for. We make sacrifices. We work morning, noon and night to reach the goals that we aim for.

My poem, The Olympian, was published in 2006 in my book Poems of Inspriation: A Daily Dose of Self-Motivation. Interestingly, two years later, at the 2008 summer Olympic games in Beijing, Usain Bolt of Jamaica became the literal manifestation of the poem. Prior to then, relatively few people had heard his name. Earlier that year, many persons heard his name for the first time as he set the new world record in the 100 meter dash. Still, that occurred at a relatively unknown event that few outside of the sports world even watched.

But Bolt “bolted” to the headlines of the summer games in Beijing, setting world records in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash in the process. Someone who grew up in relative obscurity in a small country, almost overnight, became a household name on the biggest stage possible as an athlete. His lifetime quest was reached in a matter of seconds. That’s powerful, isn’t it?

How does this relate to us? The goals that we pursue might be career oriented; or perhaps family or even personal. Whatever the case, we have the ideals that we aim for. And every so often, an opportunity to shine becomes available to us. We have the chance to seize the moment, and in so doing, we can live the life of our dreams.

As we get started on this new week, let the story of the Olympian inspire you. Picture yourself in the starting blocks as you prepare to run the race of your life. Great possibilities lie ahead for you and your family as you seize the opportunities that life presents to you.

Enjoy reading:

The Olympian
By Rodrick Walters

I’ve waited all my life for these next ten seconds.
Getting up early in the morning to train this body of mine.
Preparing it like a well-oiled machine. Denying myself
the pleasures of life all for this moment.
This is my personal mission.
These beads of sweat dripping down my face
might as well be blood. Because I have given everything
for this moment. I don’t even see the people
in the lanes next to me all I see is that finish line.
I must be the first to reach it.
I refuse to be denied.
Ten seconds is all it will take.
And my life will never be the same.

Let’s go out and make it a great week – one that we’ll never forget. And like the Olympian, our lives will never be the same!

About the Author
Rodrick Walters is a professional speaker and the founder of The Upbeat Dad, an organization whose mission is to advocate the positive effect that fathers can have on children’s lives. His daily blog is read by thousands of individuals from all over the world. Readers of the blog are fathers, mothers and children who support the view that kids are better off when both parents are involved in their lives. Rodrick went through a bitter divorce in 2001, during which he saw first-hand the impact on his then 3 year old daughter. He has since given motivational talks to parents and children about the impact of divorce on families. He remarried in 2009 and is the father of a newborn son. His daughter, who is now 12, lives with his new family. Rodrick is a native of Jamaica. He and his family reside in Miami, Florida. Visit his blog at: