One photo can create an icon. That's all it took for Dara Torres and her 41-year-old abs of steel. She appears beautiful and calm with a â€œshredded 8 pack.â€ One look at Robert Maxwell's photo of her in New York Times Magazine and you can see, not only is she an amazing athlete, but years of dedication and hard work show through those ripped abs. Dara, the mother of a 2-year-old, has just picked up her tenth medal having participated in five Olympics. The truly inspirational part of her story is that she is still competing. I guess she never got the memo that as we age we fatigue faster, or the other memo that said, as we age our bodies break down and have aches and pains, or the one that said when we become a parent we should give up our personal dreams.
The Beijing Olympics are filled with stories of athletes who beat the odds. Rather than just finding out who won, I hope you are hearing some of these stories. Olympic inspiration can add dimension to your own workout and training. These athletes have what you have, a human body. And though they may have a special skill and a more arduous training schedule, they hope for what you hope for â€” improvement. Science has proven that if our minds recognize a fitness goal as possible, our body is far more likely to achieve it. Watching the Olympics brings our minds to a new level of what is possible. We gain inspiration with each new broken record. At the end of the day, if these world-class athletes can break their own record, you can break yours. It is possible to be in the best shape of your life. The main ingredient is a little inspiration and the understanding that it really can happen.
We may not all have a team of professionals on staff, dedicated to our body's improvement (to the tune of $100,000 per year, as Dara does). But we have the gift of a body that can move and movement is its own reward. It's the first step toward your goal of feeling your all-time best.
In the spirit of this year's Olympics, challenge yourself. Add a set to your weight training, an extra half-mile to your morning walk or an extra day of exercise this week. Do it because just like Dara, you can.
I'll see you in two weeks.
Love and health, Loa
LOA BLASUCCI is a certified sports nutritionist, personal trainer and fitness instructor. She can be reached at email@example.com.