Were you one of those who witnessed live the Olympic torch? As soon as it arrived on British soil I was hooked. I vowed that I would be there to see it relayed, no matter what. That’s the kind of person I am; something captures my imagination and I have to have more of it. In the early 1990s I saw Brazilians dancing the lambada. Not only did I find a Carioco beau to lambada with me, but I packed up and spent a year in Brazil, home of the lambada.
This time around I didn’t need an Olympian beau to get me in spitting distance of the Olympic torch. All I needed was patience, a watchful eye kept on its journey through the UK’s urban and rural communities and a reminder on my calendar about its arrival in Lewisham. As the weeks leading to its local appearance mounted, so did my excitement. I was on a mission to witness a once in a life time phenomenon, the Olympic torch in my manor.
The early start didn’t deter me. I was up and out on 23 July before the clock struck 7 a.m. The handful of enthusiastic spectators lining Catford High Road on my journey to the Stephen Lawrence Centre didn’t discourage me either. I felt the naysayers would be sorry when they reflected on the significance of what they’d missed. But as I approached the centre, the crowds became denser, eager and buzzy. Strangers chatted to strangers. Laughter and excitement filled the air. Men and women, black and white, old and young were all captured by the promise of witnessing something historical.
And then an enthusiastic shout, ‘Here she comes!’ We craned our necks as Doreen Lawrence carried the Olympian torch proudly a mega smile on her face. Now I get emotional at the drop of a hat. Mention cute fox cubs and I fill up. Seeing Doreen Lawrence’s joy for a mere few seconds before the crowd surged forwards was no exception. I became a quivering Olympic torch addict craving for more. As she handed the Olympic torch to Kieran Lang, Young Mayor of Lewisham I decided to follow as it continued its Lewisham journey.
So what did I do? I ran along and followed the Olympic torch for a couple of miles and I wasn’t alone. Clearly I wasn’t the only Olympic torch junkie living in the borough of Lewisham. Roller skating youths, 20 something photographers and me a middle aged woman in trainers weaved through the gathering crowds and the traffic determined to keep the excitement and the adrenalin rush for as long as possible. My regular visits to the local gym definitely paid off. Everything about the event said Britain at its best – a torch bearer a in wheel chair, middle aged women giving high fives as they performed a handover , a young black lad looking slightly bashful but well pleased with himself and a forty something guy, whooping and dancing with glee, all wondering what had hit them. These were regular people, leading regular lives – all winners selected to bear the Olympic torch.
So what was it about the Olympic torch that captivated me? A combination of factors; a desire to be part of history, an experienced talking point for years to come; knowing how privileged I was to be there, healthy, free, and independent with choices that many women world-wide are denied; the sight of ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing, enjoying a few moments of recognition in a one-off life time experience; I felt the resonance with the aims of my business, Winning Pathways Coaching, which helps women to win the race between their motivated part and the saboteur part -the champion versus the loser.
Carrying the Olympic torch is an experience only a few of us were privileged to have. Viewing it from the side-lines was probably the next best thing. It certainly was for me. But we can create our own individual Olympic torch. We can decide on what we want in life and go all out to get it. We can carry that torch of achievement on the journey to the finishing line and hold it high when we win.
To find out how Winning Pathways Coaching can help you to win your race, contact Claudia here.