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Are You Learning From Your Setbacks? Stay Motivated

stay motivated

The Winter Olympics may be over, but Adam Rippon has taken the internet by storm. Whether that be for his achievements in the games or for being unapologetically himself on Twitter. What keeps him motivated? How do you stay motivated?

Adam Rippon was born in Pennsylvania, the oldest of six children. He began skating at the age of ten which is much later than most start their career. Nathan Chen a fellow Team USA Olympic figure skater started skating at the age of three. Rippon as an infant had a severe hearing loss and underwent corrective surgery just before his first birthday. His mom stated that he was a natural and a quick learner. From 2009 through 2010, Rippon had sprained his ankle and couldn’t train for some time. He came back strong and won a gold medal at Four Continents for his free skate. During his time in the 2012 through 2013 season, he suffered another ankle injury which made him withdraw from Four Continents. In 2014, Rippon was a force to be reckoned with, he was on the Four Continents team and on the Worlds team. Not late after in 2016, he won gold at the 2016 Championships. As most athletes know, injuries come with the territory. Adam injured his ankle and fractured a bone in his left foot. He was out for quite some time to recover. That did not stop him from training, he was more careful about what he could and couldn’t do. A tactic that Rippon uses to encourage himself to keep pushing is to buy an expensive piece of jewelry that way he has an incentive to win.  In an interview, he said he likes to back himself into a corner and that way he is forced to do well in order to get out.

Back in 2015, he came out as gay, thus being the first openly gay American to qualify for the Winter Olympics. In a tweet, someone had asked him what it’s like being the first openly gay athlete. His response was nothing short of Rippon being himself, he said it was like being straight, you work hard, but you do it with better eyebrows.  The amazing quality that he possesses is the inability to let society’s thoughts change who he is. He keeps on living his dream and is the voice for those in the world who need a little encouragement to follow their aspirations. Media makes a big deal of his sexuality, but in reality, it has nothing to do with the way he trains or how he competes.  He has done so well in the figure skating community that he has a signature move called the “Rippon Lutz.” We can all take a few notes from Adam Rippon.

To be ourselves no matter the pressure from society to look or feel a certain way. If you’re working out train hard for yourself, achieve your dreams and don’t let anybody stop you from where you want to be. You know what they say, actions speak louder than words. In this case, your actions speak louder than your wants. You may want to start exercising and you can tell yourself that for three months, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t get up and start moving. I think the tough part about starting is that we set high standards for ourselves. If you’re anything like me, you have a few minutes of gumption where you have your mind set on something and when it falls through you just give up. You tell yourself that you’ll start on Monday, it’s the beginning of the work week, so it only makes sense that you start your fitness journey on that day as well. Once that day has passed, it gets easier to talk yourself out of it. You wait for the next Monday and then that day passes and you’re back to waiting. It’s a vicious cycle of telling yourself you’ll start, but never actually getting to it.

Do you think Olympic athletes come up with excuses? There’s a plan and they execute accordingly. You don’t need to be an athlete to want some friendly competition. If you’re at the gym next to someone on a treadmill, try to run faster than them or run a longer distance. A little competition will push you to do more than you normally would. Find a person to hold you accountable for your workouts. It’s easy if you’re an athlete if you skip practice you have your coach to answer to, but if you’re a person who works out what stops you from skipping gym time? Grab a gym buddy, a personal trainer, someone who will not let you slack. You’ll be less likely to bail on a friend and a coach. Stop making your workouts about the way you look, think of it as leisure time to gossip with your friend, to get out of the house, or to run a mile without stopping. Think about all the Olympic athletes out there, they do it because the sport is what they love. They don’t think about their muscles or about getting those abs, their outer beauty results from their dedication to the sport. They focus on winning their next competition and not about the number on the scale.How do you or your friends stay motivated?  Social media plays a big part in our society now, why not use it to our advantage? The perks are that we can find inspiration on Instagram or Facebook, essentially anywhere on the internet. Tag your friends in a post that you found motivational or something you’d like to try. Sometimes when I see a beautiful scenery photo from a hike, I tag my friend who would also think it’s beautiful and somehow we end up at the very same spot. Support one another’s dreams and help each other stay on track. It’s easy nowadays, there are apps to track everything. Remember that you don’t need to reach your ultimate goal to be proud of yourself.

Adam Rippon won multiple medals in different competitions, it may not have been in the Olympics, but it was still a successful program. It all eventually led him to win a bronze at the Winter Olympics in 2018.If you’re sitting and thinking about the amount of time it will take for you to achieve your goal, remember that the time will pass whether you’re working towards it or not.  It’s your time, do something productive with it.