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Yesterday was truly the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” at the Rio Olympics! There was a horrible bicycle crash when the leader in the women’s race went down and laid immobile on the side of the roadway on a very steep, winding and rainy descent. She ended up breaking three vertebrae in the lumbar region of her spine. It almost appeared as though she had died as she lay there motionless, the accident was so horrible to watch! Offset that with the world-record shattering swim of Katie Ledecky and another gold for Michael Phelps, both of the American swim team; or with a 41-year old gymnast still competing in her 7th consecutive Olympics, seemingly defying aging just because she can! 

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If this teaches us anything, it is that daily life mimics the microcosm of the Olympics. One minute, we’re in our rhythm, enjoying the ride and then we’re flat on our backs (literally or figuratively), having experienced something truly random, shocking and devastating. Or we might be working daily towards some truly big goal, not sure if we’ll make the grade and capture the prize for our efforts! Yet, one day, if we commit to something, we surely will make either the goal or the changes in ourselves which occur in our attempt the prize we gain!   

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Perseverance, effort, commitment and training our minds, bodies and hearts for success are key. Whether we have a major setback, such as that bicyclist’s fall, or a great success, like Michael Phelps and the American swim team, we need to remember that life’s constant lessons continue as long as we breathe! We shall have great days, bad days, days when the sun shines on us and days when the dark cloud overhead seems eternal. But human beings are resilient, meant for unlimited potential and capable of so much more than we ourselves can even imagine, as long as we don’t give up on life when the going gets tough, or when we have known the agony of defeat!  

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