Opinion Column

Fit for Life: You need to catch yourself a case of Olympic fever

By Donna Cotnam, Daily Observer

Topics

Are you experiencing a higher than normal body temperature? Is your heart racing more than usual? Do you find yourself breathing quickly? Are you looking a bit flush and feel like you may vomit any minute? It's not heat stroke...it's Olympic fever! Don't take any meds to try and get rid of it! Embrace it and watch more of the summer games!

If you have been watching any of the events of these Olympic Games you may have experienced some or all of these symptoms I'm sure. Even if you are not a big sports enthusiast it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement. You may not understand the rules of the game, or what exactly the judges are looking for, but surely you can appreciate the mega talent of the athletes.

Arguably these are the world's best "amateur' athletes. Yes, there is always controversy - are they taking performance enhancement substances?; are they really amateur if they receive sponsorship, or tuition?; why are professional athletes allowed to compete?; has the scoring been rigged? Debates on these topics have and will go on forever.

Look deeper though. Understand how these athletes got to where they are. If you exercise at all, no matter what level you are at, you have most likely never pushed yourself the way these athletes have. They train at all hours of the day and night. They give up their favourite foods and going to social events with friends and families. In most cases they move away from family and friends in order to get the best training they can get. And all of this with no guarantees that they will see their dream of competing on the world stage come true.

I challenge you to take the time to watch these games. Watch closely as they complete - see their muscles, watch how their body moves, look at their faces, feel the intensity of wanting to do their very best. Listen to their stories - how did they get there? Who helped them, who made a difference in their lives? Who are they looking for at the end of their event? Don't just watch the winner to see their exhilaration. Watch those who come up just short, who didn't make the podium, who faltered in their quest to make it to the finish line.

Watch with your family. Let these athletes inspire all of you to do more, to do better but most of all just do! It doesn't matter what your activity of choice is, the main thing is to keep moving, stay active. These athletes are competing for themselves, their team, their family and friends and their country! Cheer them on and on the 17th 18th and 20th, watch as Melissa Bishop of Eganville makes the Ottawa Valley proud.

If there are any specific fitness related questions you would like addressed please email them to fitmom@hotmail.com.