Inspired to “Find Your Greatness”

Nathan Sorrell, Nike Jogger

Edge-of-the-seat thrills are what I have experienced watching the 2012 London Olympic Games. I have cringed and covered my eyes like many of the parents who couldn’t bear to watch their children compete and fall short yet would not be anywhere else but near their sides. I have been misty-eyed with sadness and joy along with each athlete as he or she stumbled or excelled. In every area of the Games stories of hope, strength and inspiration abounded.

Watching the Games, I found one of the greatest inspirations in an everyday person in a television commercial. Yes, a television commercial. The 2012 London Olympic Games television coverage is offering some of the best commercials ever. They are memorable and moving.

This one, I have talked about and I will replay it like a great motivational speech. Nike did something special when it cast 12-year-old Nathan Sorrell in its “Find Your Greatness” advertisement. For the 2012 London Olympic Games coverage Nike produced a campaign showing ordinary people from towns named “London” around the world seeking fitness.

Nathan, from London, Ohio, T-shirt soaked with perspiration, jogs along a lonely stretch of road. There are no crowds to cheer him on — just determination. He might be 5-foot-three-inches tall, weigh 200 pounds and for now, a short distance jogger, but to me, he qualifies for the gold.

PS I’m going to kick things up a step and buy a pair of Nike’s for my roadwork — on the treadmill.

Ready for weekend gold

London 2012 Olympic Torch

Ready for the weekend? I remember more than a few Monday afternoons, following a morning of the unexpected, more than expected and more of the same, when I would say, “I can’t wait for the weekend.” At my desk, walking to a meeting — wherever — there was an inevitable chorus of responses: “Me, too” or “Amen.”

Well, I am really ready for this weekend. I can’t wait for the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London. Of course I feel great pride when I see the U.S. flag and our Olympic delegation. But there is more. Watching the opening ceremonies, I am proud of my global family. The parade of flags and athletes of all the nations is humanity’s stellar moment.

From just a few athletes to a large delegation — it doesn’t matter — they represent the best in all of us. At that moment, in those athletes, we glimpse the culmination of our hopes, our possibilities and our dreams.

When I watch these athletes in the days ahead, I will remember the sacrifices they, and their families, have made. Early morning hours, long days of practice, performing through aches and pains, all with a singular focus.  They just wanted to be the best.

Hearing their stories and watching them perform inspires me to reach higher. I must greet every day like an Olympian. I must maintain my faith, my focus to achieve my goal. I must do that one extra thing that will make me a champion.