All aspiring athletes have goals they want to achieve. And to achieve those goals, the athlete must be very motivated. How an athlete gains that motivation is a personal experience. So what motivated me to achieve my goals and become a National and Olympic champion? There were many things, as with all successful athletes, and it can come from anywhere.
For me personally, there were many things that motivated me throughout my life. Here, I will share some of those moments and factors that steered me toward success in sports. This is the first post of a series I would like to share.
The Beginning: For as long as I can remember from my childhood, I always had a desire to be the best. I was very competitive in everything I did and I wanted to win – always!! I think I was just made to be that way. As a child (and still as an adult:), I was very small. I was the smallest kid in school, even through High School. I was often made fun of and it gave me a complex. Maybe this was one reason I had the desire to be great one day.
I was certainly a very hyper-active child and sports was a great release. I loved most all sports and began playing competitively at an early age. Baseball was my first experience. I don’t remember much about it and think I only played one season. I was also on a swimming team. Although I learned to swim well, I actually did not love this experience. I remember it being an outdoor pool, and growing up in Ohio, the water was freezing. I used to hide during practice so I didn’t have to get in. This certainly wasn’t the sport for me!!
My favorite sport? It was football!! I loved the game and still do. It was active, exciting, and aggressive – all the things I loved. I played on a pee-wee league team when I was in the 4th grade – and I was good too!! It was full tackle football and my position was safety. I was fast and wasn’t afraid to tackle, or get hit. One problem – I was tiny!! My father had to glue 2″ thick pads in my helmet so it would fit my tiny head ( no one can say I had a big head:).
This idea of wanting to win was my motivation. At an early age, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to become, I just knew I wanted to be successful. Then, on one day, I discovered Gymnastics!!
It became obvious from the start that I had a natural ability for this sport. This is such an important factor when one is trying to decide what they want to become. First, one must have a strong desire for something. Secondly, having some type of natural ability is certainly favorable for success. I had both and it was the beginning of a great adventure.
The next post in this series will focus on the things that motivated me on my early start to gymnastics success. Stay tuned…
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