How To Be An Olympic Mother

By August 10, 2012Get Inspired

{You knew this post was coming, right?}

I’ve been equally inspired by and distracted by the Olympics the last few weeks.

I have been staying up way too late and not getting enough done. But at the same time, I am so inspired watching the focus, commitment and passion of each athlete.

I love how their dedication to excellence defies the modern idea that we can have it all.

I know it may look to the average watcher like they have it all – fame, fitness, achievement – but the only reason they have those big things is because they gave up so many small (and not so small) things along the way.

They have given up, over an over, the things they want in exchange for the things they dream.

They don’t watch HGTV marathons. They don’t eat ice cream or snacks at their leisure. They don’t sleep in or stay up late.

The pattern of their lives has been to surrender their wants for their dreams.

The trajectory of their entire lives led to this one moment. What they ate, how much they slept, how they spent their time, how much they pursued pain because they knew Gold was on the other side.

It’s All About The Start

One of my favorite things to watch is the way each athlete preps for their event.

Some listen to music. Some talk to themselves. Others seem to stare into oblivion with a focus and intensity that could burn a hole through anything that gets between them and the Gold medal.

No one is checking their phone, leisurely chatting with others or nibbling on a bag of chips. That would be ridiculous.

They are at the Olympics. This is the moment of urgency. All the training they’ve been doing their entire lives comes down to right now and they’ll stop at never.

There is no sacrifice without urgency.

Hours upon hours upon hours they spent on meticulous and mundane things like the way they start, the line of their arms, the way they breathe, and how they finish. They work for years in anonymity, early mornings, financial sacrifice and physical pain.

Being an Olympian really isn’t that different from being a mother.

But perhaps it’s easier to sacrifice when you’re standing at the starting blocks of your Olympic dream, but when you’re a mom and there are 5 long hours until nap time and 18 years to get the job done, it’s hard to feel the same sense of urgency.

And yet, in mother time, 5 hours and 5 years seem to go by equally. It is no sooner nap time as it is graduation day.

So, now is the time to make all those choices we hope our future selves will make. Now is the time to stop saying we’ll do better tomorrow, because we said that yesterday.

Now is the time to embrace the timeless urgency of motherhood, trade in our wants for our dreams and trade in regrets for Gold.

{This is where I put my hands on your shoulders, look you in the eye and say, “You’ve got this! Now go be awesome!” Fist bump.}

Oh yeah, there’s gonna be some well loved kids today.

Cue “The Eye of the Tiger…”

Let’s Chat: What has been your favorite Olympic moment so far? My answer is in the comments, click here to share yours.

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Leave a Comment



  • Kat Lee says:

    Being a HUGE tennis fan, I was cheering for Andy Murray in the gold medal match against Federer. It was fun to see a Brit win at Wimbledon.

    • I have to say that’s one of my favourite moments, too! I also enjoyed seeing the Brits take gold and bronze in the Men’s Triathlon (we were there in Hyde Park!). As an American living in England, it’s really easy to get caught up in the “Team GB” excitement! πŸ™‚

  • Sunshine says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. This is one of the most awesome, stirring posts that I have read. Sunshine

  • maddalena70 says:

    Kat it is really true…. I have thought the same thing every now and then seeing the mother of Michsel Pelphs through this Olimpic Games… his last one and more precious…… I thought of each sacrifice she has done hen he was young for letting him to be here now….
    And how she seems happy… and proud….. nonentheless……

    And it is always like this when you are a mother…. every single day of every single week of our life….. envisioned every single day the urgency of raising a decent son inthe name of God……



  • Danielle says:

    Amen!!!!! Love this! My favorite Olympic moments (three-way-tie) were Ryan Lochte winning the 400 IM, fab 5 winning the team gold and Aly Raisman winning floor!

  • Courtney says:

    Your first sentence rings true for me – equally inspired and distracted! I’ve been staying up way too late, but I am in awe of the athlete’s determination and focus. Allyson Felix said that after winning silver in 2004 and 2008 she knew that she had to give up her “people pleasing” ways and learn to say no to a lot – she was incredibly focused, and I was so happy to see her rewarded with the gold. Her statements also reinforced the idea that we “cannot have it all” – something has to give if we really want to focus or do well in any particular area. I need regular reminders of that!

  • Sandy Diaz says:

    My favorite moment was when Oscar Pistorius and Kirani James exchanged name tags after the 400m semi-finals. Pistorius is the runner who has no feet! After he came in last in the semi-finals, Kirani James asked to change name tags. Yes. I cried. It was a beautiful olympic moment!

  • Kate says:

    Loved this post! My favorite moment from the Olympics so far has been watching Gabby Douglas win the women’s gymnastics all around gold medal! She is such a poised, mature young lady and a great role model for all the little girls out there. Her commitment to God and to giving all her glory to God is truly inspiring! Her comment to NBC reporters was so well spoken and mature way beyond her years! I pray that my daughter, and me for that matter, would have the same unashamed boldness when it comes to speaking about our faith.

  • Erin says:

    THANK YOU for being so obedient to the Lord in encouraging moms (and specifically me!), Kat! My favorite moment… hard to choose… Fab 5 winning gold, Gabby Douglas winning gold, and all of swimming!!! I love hearing Rowdy Gaines get so excited! πŸ™‚

  • crystal says:

    Wow! It is truly hard to have one favorite moment but I have to say that seeing Oscar Pistorius run in the 400m semifinals was absolutely amazing .To say what we saw was dedication and perseverance and I am sure parents that saw potential is an understatement! I also appreciate seeing athletes thanking Christ for their achievements.

  • Larri says:

    It IS all about the start! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the boost of encouragement, Kat. I’m ready to throw on some grey sweats and run up that Philly stairway! πŸ˜‰

  • Tiffany says:

    Allyson Felix winning the gold in the 200 meters. She is such a great example of someone who has dreams and glorifies God in them.

  • Melissa says:

    Truthfully, I am not a “fan” of watching the Olympics (am I going to be banned from future comments!?) : ) BUT, I am inspired (to action!) by your analogy Kat! It is such a habit of mine to excuse my lack of doing (dare I say laziness?!), and think there is always another day. We are not promised tomorrow, so I want each day to matter. Thank you for the virtual pep talk and fist pump! I needed that today! I am with Sunshine… one of your best ma’am! : )

  • Sue says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post. It was exactly what I needed to read today. Your ministry and your blog are awesome. Thank you so much!

    Instead of favorite Olympic moments, I have favorite Olympians. This year I have been so impressed with some of the youngest female athletes- Katie Ledecky, Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin. They’re so young but so mature and gracious- ΓΌber-talented but such ladies. I can’t imagine how proud their mothers must be.

  • […] How to be an Olympic Mother ::: Inspired to Action […]

  • Excellent post! You are so right that Olympians train almost their entire lives for one race, one event, one day. And yet we as mother’s are raising children for a lifetime. Our sacrifice should be so much greater and starting today mine will be. Thanks so much for this inspiring post.