By Rachelle Sorenson-Cox
I love to watch the Olympics and I am not alone. The games are one of the top five most watched sporting events on television. The 2016 Summer Games in Rio or what I like to call “sixteen days of athletic awesomeness” will feature over 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries participating in more than 300 events in almost 40 sports.
In addition to the amazing athleticism, the touching participant backstories and those tear-jerking “Thanks Mom” commercials all combine to create a recipe for inspiration.
Inspire: to fill someone with the urge or ability to do something, to give someone an idea.
With the lighting of the Olympic flame, our own fire might ignite, thus providing the small spark that starts to shine on that inner athlete inside all of us. We may start to wonder if we have what it takes be a “try-athlete”, to go for the gold in our own lives and try a new sport or return to a sport that we used to enjoy. The good news is, that it may be easier to get yourself in the game than you think. If you own a trampoline, it may even be as easy as looking in your backyard. Yes, Olympic Trampoline is a thing (a sanctioned Olympic thing).
All across the US of A, Adult Sporting Leagues are gaining in popularity and have even inspired the creation of for-profit Sport and Social Leagues, providing opportunities to participate in team sports like basketball, volleyball and kickball. The old recess staple is not just for kids anymore, (although not an Olympic Sport) kickball is growing in popularity for adults.
So, maybe team sports aren’t your jam, they certainly aren’t for everyone. Hope is not lost, there are no shortage of options to explore solo sports, like running, swimming or strength training. On any given weekend, in most communities, you can find a 5K (3.1 mile) run, and with the help of an online Couch to 5K program, BAM! You are a runner. It’s that simple.
Most YMCA’s and community pools offer swim lessons for adults. With a few lessons and the small investment in a good pair of goggles, you could go from simply treading water to swimming laps. You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard of Crossfit. This weight lifting focused phenomenon is changing the way people workout. And for all of the jokes about “drinking the Crossfit kool-aid” there is something to be said about it changing the way people view themselves and their physical abilities this is especially true of women. Crossfit has given women permission to be strong, really strong, and who doesn’t want to feel strong?
As you grab your tissue on Friday for the Opening Ceremonies (gets me every time), watching the athletes pour into the stadium, allow yourself to get inspired. Regardless of age, we can learn new things, and so can our children. Personally, I’m planning on a 2020 spot on the Olympic Tennis Team, at least in my own mind.