Olympic Fever + Nick Foles = Motivation for Days

I have Olympic Fever. It all started when NBC launched that A.B.F.T.T.B commercial with the Olympic skier. Then I just had to watch The Cutting Edge, because it was right there on my television, which led to reading Karen Chen and Scot Hamilton’s inspirational interview in last Sunday’s Parade magazine…which made me create this meme with his quote about failure and learning to be resilient…then I watched that incredible football game on Sunday night and found out how much Nick Foles struggled before ultimately claiming his profession’s highest honor.

Here it is Wednesday and I’m so excited for Friday’s Opening Ceremonies, but I know I need to finish writing my next fiction proposal before I start watching all this Olympic coverage for the next two weeks. Just when I was about to pull myself together and focus, Nick Foles’s inspirational speech following his team’s Super Bowl victory was splashed all over the internet.

Yeah, I’m still thinking about this quote, too:

“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail,” Foles said. “I think in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. And then when you look at it, when you think like, wow, when you have a rough day, ‘My life’s not as good as that,’ (you think) you’re failing.

“Failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times. Made mistakes.

“We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this, (it’s been important) to be able to share that and be transparent. I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening. Because (it) resonates.

“So I’m not perfect. I’m not Superman. I might be in the NFL, I might have just won a Super Bowl, but, hey, we still have daily struggles, I still have daily struggles. And that’s where my faith comes in, that’s where my family comes in…

{You can read the full article here}

Like Nick Foles said, in this world where we are constantly obsessed with the ‘highlight reels’ and self-promotion, what is it about the failures of others and their subsequent successes that inspires us? Or am I the only sick and twisted soul saving these quotes and pinning them on my virtual bulletin board for future reference?

I do not aspire to be an Olympic athlete, or a Super Bowl quarterback. Heck, I’ll never do a back-flip on figure skates or throw a football more than a yard, and I’m okay with that. But I do want to be a prolific, successful (dare I say award-winning?) author. And on my worst days, the fear of failure keeps me from writing more than a few sentences. In the writer’s life, failure comes in the form of a publisher’s rejection. This manuscript is too______ or not quite _______.

It doesn’t matter what is in those blanks, the message is still the same: your story won’t work. Try again. Start over.

Rejection of one’s art is very personal. It’s painful. It sticks with you if you let it.

That’s why I bask in the inspirational words of others who have failed repeatedly, yet found the courage to get up, dust themselves off, and try again. From a Christian worldview, the words of Scott Hamilton and Nick Foles are particularly encouraging because we share a common faith, one that we can rely on when we’re wrestling with self-doubt and the heartache that failure often brings.

While a fever is often a sign of infection and something to be eliminated, this week I’m going to soak in this particular ‘ailment’. I’ll use it to carry me forward and allow it to fuel me. To inspire me to keep writing, to keep living out my calling as a storyteller and a believer.

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