There are so many aspects of the Olympics that I have found to be inspiring. I have stayed up way too late this week, unable to peel myself away from the swimming and gymnastics competitions. The "thrill of victory or the agony of defeat" can be very compelling! However, there was one feature of the Opening Ceremonies, that also truly inspired me and that I have thought about many times since first seeing it. To me, a characteristic of something inspiring is that it often captures my thoughts and attention long after the ‘moment’ is over.
The National Stadium that the Opening Ceremonies were held in is called the "Bird’s Nest." If you have seen it, you know it does indeed look like a nest. It was the ending of the Opening Ceremonies in that facility that was absolutely awe-inspiring to me and has given me food for thought. If you did not see it, I hope I can rightly describe, at least in part, what I saw. As with any spectacular sight, words and even photos, often can not do it justice.
As past Chinese Olympians completed the Torch Relay, it was passed to the final runner, former gymnast Li Ning. He ran the course as the rest did, then paused, and was lifted into mid-air. It was a moment that took my breath away, as I realized that he was wired up and continued to ascend, almost to the top of the 227 foot tall structure! As if that were not enough, he finished his "run" against a large screen that mimicked an unrolling scroll that showed footage from the complete Torch Relay. It served as his ‘track’ in mid-air! It was dramatic, inspiring, breath-taking, mind-boggling and completely out-of-the-box creative!
As I recovered from the surprise and amazement of what was happening, I watched with wonder. I had a couple of thoughts… How often do we use all the resources that surround us? Most of us would think to use the stadium’s width and length, but how many of us would think to use its height? Do we look up often enough and take into consideration what could be accomplished on a higher level? Are we willing to take the risks and commit to the extra work and discipline that such a venture may present to us? I know I have written about "looking up" before, but I have never seen such a vivid illustration of what can happen when we actually set our feet to run on a higher level. I can not imagine the work and preparation that went into those unforgettable moments. Premiere technology and engineering, invincible human spirit, courage overcoming fear, and faith rising above doubt are just a few of the components that come to mind.
I did not watch the ceremonies in its entirety. However, that one part alone, inspired me to do more and be more. It encouraged me to think beyond the boundaries that I unknowingly place in my life. It motivated me to rethink what is possible. And, it showed me that with the help of others and a lot of hard work, incredible things could happen. Once endeavoring to live the width of my life, as well as its length, I am now wanting to live the height of it as well. Want to join me?
Rethinking the Possibilities With You…