Go Underdogs!

The upcoming Olympics prompts her to consider all those who face challenges and overcome. 

by Joanne Gouaux • More.com Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock

Only 26 more days to the Olympic games! My favorite thing about the games? Watching unknown athletes rise up and achieve victory against all odds. The summer games are my favorite. As a runner and native Californian, I have a preference for warm weather sports. I'm also a fan of IMPERFECTION. What does imperfection have to do with the Olympics and underdog athletes? In my experience, when human beings allow themselves to be vulnerable, and are willing to try something new after experiencing what some call "failure" amidst seemingly unsurpassable hardships — something miraculous happens; we find fulfillment. It's the less than desirable circumstances and unexpected events that stretch us to into stronger, more creative and resilient human beings. Along the way we become more attuned to one another. Our senses sharpen, and our perception expands. It's the type of sensory gift that allows one to meet a complete and total stranger and after five minutes of conversation know that you've meet for some greater purpose, or that you'll share a friendship with this person for your lifetime. In the process of navigating the unknown, we tap into our own strength, learn to trust our intuition, all the while forging deeper relationships with our fellow human beings.

The underdog who keeps going despite the odds reaps the reward of fulfillment. This person takes nothing for granted. Happiness and fulfillment are not inherent principal fixtures for the underdog. To illustrate, imagine a talented musician with an out of tune instrument. As the player tunes the instrument with sound and pitch, they are rewarded by the opportunity to bring together melody and rhythm, and the music melds into a harmony. Self-tuning is the long way around; yet, it comes with advantages. The idiosyncratic underdog understands quirks, setbacks, and the absence of perfection. As a result, they become creatively well prepared to handle unknown situations and make the best of less than ideal conditions.

We'd need a lot more time and several hundred pages if I were to list and explain the examples and experiences that have led me to this philosophy. This week alone, I had chance encounters with some truly phenomenal women: an Olympic Medalist who was braving a cross-country move to start a new career with little certainty or guarantee of what type of lifestyle lay ahead, a lawyer who did everything "right" in life, only to experience hurtle after hurtle and finally arrived at the realization that the greatness and prosperity that she sought to create was the fabric of a lifestyle she had been diligently threading all along.

And with that, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Plato, "be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle." Go underdogs!

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