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Finding the Olympian Within

Finding the Olympian Within

Laural, Suzanne and Emily on the waterfront.

by Laural Porter

kgw.com

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 10:53 AM

Many of us were thrilled and awed by the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It’s an event I look forward to every four years. So does my Mom, who is recovering from her second hip surgery in a year.

She said to me just before the Games, "Guess what I can't wait for? The Opening Ceremony in Sochi."

Me, too, Mom.

Twenty two years ago, my Mom and I tuned our television to the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, while I was on maternity leave. She had come to visit me for the birth of my third daughter, Ali. Together, we watched Alberto Tomba (or Tomba La Bomba, as we all liked to call him) win a gold medal in the Giant Slalom, while we cuddled my new baby.

Ali celebrated her 22nd birthday on February 7th, the day of this Olympiad's Opening Ceremony in Sochi.

Like so many people, I get hooked on the Olympic games, so much so that I almost have withdrawals when it's over. Over the course of the games we come to feel a connection to the athletes whose stories and feats inspire us.

Of course, most of us will never be Olympians, but I think the games can motivate us to be the best we can be…to go for our own gold, no matter our age or physical limitations.

I am part of my own modest “Olympics” with the Nike Fuel Executive Challenge.

As I train for the Wild Canyon Games at the end of May with my team, "The Usual Suspects," the Olympic games pushed me a little harder to meet my daily goal on my Nike Fuelband.

The Nikeplus App even rewards you with trophies when you meet or surpass your goal. It was fun when I got to my first virtual “Fire trophy” for reaching 150 percent of my goal. The app's trophy even has sound effects that make you feel a little bit special!

I met up with two of my teammates just before the Games began to run the three-mile loop around the Esplanade at lunch time. We may not be in the Athletes Village, but it was fun to share the camaraderie of women who are trying to raise their own personal bar.

Emily is our team captain and often tops the charts when it comes to individual Nike Fuel points earned among the 56 of us in the Nike Fuel Executive Challenge.

Suzanne is the friend who invited me to be a part of this "unique opportunity." She's also a strong runner. She had a meeting to get to by 1 p.m., so she wanted to run the loop at a quicker pace than I usually run. I barely kept up, and chatting while running became difficult.

I asked about their Fuelband experiences, our other team members, and the Olympics. Mostly I wanted to listen, so I could try to catch my breath while they talked.

It started to snow while we were running. It didn't stick, but gave us a little taste of the Sochi Winter Olympics spirit.

Accepting this Nikefuel challenge was at first beyond my comfort zone, but it's pushed me to stretch a little more physically and socially... connecting with others who want to reach for the gold in their lives.

As we reflect on how amazed we were by the athletes in Sochi, who dedicated themselves to compete to the best of their ability at the top level in the world; we can also be champions in our own ways.

My Mom is. With two new hips, she just completed a lap around the block at her fastest speed yet, without a walker, and just her cane. She said she may go a little farther and a little faster next time.

You get the gold, Mom!

These Winter Olympic Games may be history—but as we look forward to the Summer Games in Rio, we can all strive to find our Olympians within.

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