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Rio 2016

Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person. – Albert Einstein

These days I have been busy watching the Olympics.  I watch everything and anything I can. Any sport, any team, any country, I don’t care.  I love seeing the passion, the love, the attitude.  I love the patriotism. I love seeing the triumph of the underdog with resilience and heart.  Even when the body says no, the heart says yes and keeps going.

Of course another reason to watch is that it is happening in Brazil.  Part of my heart is there.  Anytime they show the fans, they show the people, I see me, I see my people.

Like everyone else I was not convinced we would be able to pull it off.  With the threat of the Zika virus, the political climate of Brazil, unfinished buildings, the crime rate, the polluted water, terrorist threats, it all look really iffy for awhile.  But here we are with the games in full swing.

“Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, & respect when you don’t even show that to yourself.”- Steve Maraboli

I was very happy with the Opening Ceremony.  Of course there were a lot things that could have been done better, but when I compare it with the opening of the World cup this was a masterpiece.

All is not perfect though, there are reports of many athletes being robbed while walking around and that is embarrassing for us, even though having 0 crimes in Rio is totally unrealistic.

As far as Brazil’s performance in and out of the field that is up for debate.  A lot has been said about the noise of the fans.  They watch and root for every sport as if they are watching futebol (soccer).  I can see how that can annoy a lot people, other fans and specially some of the players.  There is a lot talk about teaching Brazilians the correct decorum for every sport.  Well, good luck with that.  We wear our hearts on our sleeves, we are passionate about our players, and even other players.  Even if we don’t have a horse in the race we will pick the underdog and root for him/her as if they are family.  I can see beauty in that.

But some go too far and should learn to use a little restraint at times.  We could show our passion and roos for our favorites without booing the opponent.  Seeing fans booing and cursing players is distasteful and disgraceful, but I can’t help to think that at that moment Brazilians are letting out their frustrations for all that is going wrong in Brazil.  Still we should aim it at the right targets.

No matter who the opponent is, he is there with similar goals, to represent himself and his country the best he can.  He/She is there with the same passion and motivation and deserving of the same respect.  At the end of the day may the best person win, the one with the most heart and resilience, the one that never gives up.

I love that our first Gold Medal was won by Rafaela Silva, a woman that came out of slums.  She is from the favela Cidade de Deus (City of God slums).  She benefited from a social project called Reaçao (Reaction) started by a Judo player name Flavio Canto.  He wanted to introduce poor kids to sports as a way to get them off the streets early on.  Her victory shows the benefits of such projects.  That was a victory for the real Brazil, the poor hard worker, the one that gives their blood, sweat and tears every single day of their lives and have little to show for it.

The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do. – Thomas Edison

I was going to now write about passion and commitment, about envying the passion these athletes feel and how they dedicate and commit to this one goal above all things. I was going to talk about my need to find my passion in life and my lack of commitment to things lately.

Then the phone rings and it is my gynecologist.  I know it is not good news as they never call after a Pap Smear unless it is bad news.  My test results were abnormal and she wants me to come back tomorrow for a Coloscopy.  It is a simple procedure to further explore the cervix and collect a sample for a biopsy.

Chances are it is nothing, but the idea of the possibility of cancer changes everything.  My emotions get the best of me.  I see life flashing before my eyes.  I think of so much living I still have to do.

Yes I am being a tad dramatic, this is probably nothing! But I will use it to fuel my love for living and my idea of, until I find my passion in life, to be passionate about everything.

So smile more, dance more, laugh more, reach out to friends and family, go out and do that scares and excites you, feel alive! Be grateful for every new morning and for every breath!

So to quote my favorite movie “Shawshank Redemption”:  “Get busy living or get busy dying”!

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” – Masaru Emoto