3 Ways to Reach Your Olympic Dream

When you turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, it's likely you'll see or read about the upcoming 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. I don't know about you, but just thinking about the Olympic Games--when the best athletes in the world duel it out on an international arena--inspires and motivates me.

Have you ever wondered how these young men and women got there? If not, take a moment to.

I've never been to the Olympics. I wish I could have, but I found my drive and passion too late in life. Having broken the Guinness World Record for fitness, I have a vague understanding of what they must have gone through.

But what does it take to be the best in the world or just the best you can be? Of course it takes drive, determination and motivation. But what else?

Here are the three most important factors that helped me become "The World's Fittest Man" and can help you find motivation to get to the top.

1. You've got to have a goal.

I'm sure most Olympians have a goal, a dream or something they are good at and work hard at from a young age to achieve. In 2000, I set out to break the Guinness World Record for fitness. I wanted to do it just to see if I was even physically capable, not for ego. After setting the goal, I decided I would work very hard the entire year to try to achieve it. Try setting a goal and go for it. You never know.

2. You've got to have a plan.

This is true whether you're the young aspiring Olympian, weekend warrior wanting to improve your 5K time, or someone trying to chase a Guinness World Record. There's an old saying that goes, "Fail to plan, plan to fail." It's that simple. To be the best you need to have a plan to get from point A to point B.

Young Olympic hopefuls may start tumbling at 5 years old with a dream to make it to the Olympics one day. As they get older, they might work with a coach who creates a plan to make the dream happen.

I put a 12-month plan together in 2000 to attempt the Guinness record at the end of the year. This plan included running, riding and swimming thousands of miles and doing thousands of push-ups and sit-ups. If you've thought about a goal, create a realistic plan to achieve it. Write it down on a calendar. You can do it!

So after you've determined a realistic goal and put your plan on paper, what's next? As I said earlier, you'll have to work hard. That's a given. I found during my journey to fittest man--and I'm sure all Olympians will agree--that to become the best...

3. You've got to make sacrifices along the way.

What do I mean by this? When my friends were going out to the bars on Friday or Saturday night, I was on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal logging countless hours of running, cycling and kayaking. I bet most Olympians made many sacrifices along the way to become one of the best in the world.

Are you willing to make sacrifices to achieve your goal? Be honest with yourself. In the end, those sacrifices will be worth the incredible sense of accomplishment.

Maybe you or I will never be an Olympic athlete, but hopefully this can help you become the very best you can be. You can do it! Set a goal, make a plan, and be willing to sacrifice to accomplish this dream.

Just think. Most of us are just getting started. Most of these Olympic hopefuls have dedicated their lives to make this dream come true. Go men and women of the USA!

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