The summer Olympics has always been a favorite of mine since I was 6 and watched the dream team dominate in Barcelona. Something about cheering for America in the many races and events always left me with a sense of nationalistic pride. As an adult I continue to be inspired by olympian talent, grit, and effort.  

For us mere mortals we may no be able to run down Usain Bolt, but you can learn a lot from the spirit of the Olympic games.

It's all about your effort

Off the top of your head can you name the silver or bronze medalist in the Men's 100m sprint in 2012?

You know Usain Bolt won the gold medal, but you'd be hard pressed to recall the 2nd and 3rd place runners without a quick google search. 

I use this to make the point that if you want all the glory, the endorsements and accolades; you need to bring it and win the Gold. Is the current level of your training, nutrition, and recovery good enough to even get you on the podium for a bronze medal? What would it take to get up to the silver medal? And what about the gold?

Bronze Medal

This person trains hard when they're at the gym, which is 3 out of the 5 scheduled days they were going to go. They only went to the gym this week because their training sessions are paid for and it's too late to cancel. 

You only ate well Monday through Thursday because Friday you had happy hour food because you deserved it after a long week. Also it was Jim from the office's birthday, and we went out on a bar crawl to celebrate.The weekend is a toss up. This person doesn't meal prep but they do a decent job of ordering healthy-ish food during lunch time and most dinners. 

8hrs of sleep? Only Sunday through Thursday. Sometimes if they don't have anything planned for the weekend, they get 7 on Friday and Saturdays. 

Silver Medal

This individual goes hard 4 out of 5 scheduled sessions. They are pretty good about making it a priority to make it to the gym and key in on their nutrition. Their co-workers know better than to ask this person to go to happy hour because they already know this person's dedication to to their fitness. But for a special occasion, they will go off on a bender, due to the fact that they feel they deserve it for being on it "most" of the time. 

This individual gets enough sleep 6 out of 7 days of the week. And they prioritize their nutrition by meal prepping but aren't 100% strict and will fall off the wagon every 2-3 months but get right back on it. It's only a minor slip up, but a flub nevertheless. 

Gold Medal

This person never misses a training session, with their coach or on their own. 

This individual seldom neglects their nutrition, with 99.99% certainty they will have everything dialed in. I believe if it's a special occasion like your spouse's birthday or celebrating a milestone in your child's life; then I believe you should be able to relax for that one event a bit. But they don't go overboard either. 

Meal preps every meal, no excuses.
Practically zero alcohol. Ain't nobody got time for happy hours!
Minimal sweets or treats. Occasionally indulging once or twice a month. 
The athlete prioritizes recovery and makes sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep daily.

MOST importantly, this individual takes responsibility for all their choices and actions. No pushing off the blame onto someone or something else. 

Are you running your life at a gold medal level? Most importantly where do your goals fall in the spectrum of levels? Are you expecting a gold medal result but only put in a bronze level effort? Decide what sort of effort you're willing to put in and work your way up, the race of life is a marathon not a sprint.