Posted on: August 20th, 2016
This summer’s Olympic games were truly inspiring. Seeing as though I am originally from Jamaica I was immediately transported back to my roots and heritage when I saw the Jamaicans running in hurdles, 100, 200 and 400m races. There is something awe inspiring about watching people run with all the grit and determination they have to offer. Rarely in the day to day of life do we see such honest expression that reminds us of our own struggle through our journey here on earth.
The stands filled in the late hours of the night in Rio de Janeiro as they awaited the finals for the relay races on Friday Aug 19, 2016. They awaited a crowd favorite Usain Bolt and his teammates to witness yet another epic moment in Olympic history. The race was tight and everyone was on their “A” game. As the competitors set their mark and the gun went off, you felt the energy and drive for these runners to kick it into gear. Close up shots provided visuals as every muscle in their bodies lined up to take off, firing the human engine that would help them across the finish line. As the baton was handed off from one teammate to another the excitement increased as they neared the end of the final 100m relay race for the Olympics. All eyes were on the Jamaicans as Usain Bolt took them across the finish line winning the Olympic gold for Jamaica earning him 9 gold medals in his Olympic games career.
Watching these games with my mom and brother we shouted and cheered as if we were in the stands in Rio. Our hearts raced with each competition as we watched so many athletes from the smallest to the largest countries putting their all into their sport.
I often think of how these glimpses serve as a metaphor for life and how I want desperately to finish well. Whether on stage or off, I want to put my all into my sport------ singing. Every time I take the stage I want to maintain my form, undisturbed by the performance of others or the criticisms of those in my audience. Had the athletes not maintained their form in the races, or pole vaults or swimming or volleyball or any other sport they came to perform in, they would not have earned the right to take their stand at the Olympic games and receive the medals they fought and trained for so long and hard.
The same is true of life. It is not a game in the sense of being lucky if you win. Life comes with its challenges and disappointments but when we make up our minds to run, to perform and maintain our form without being distracted by the noise of popular opinion or self-doubt. We can leave our “race” knowing that we gave it our all, held nothing back and maintained our form.
My son who is nearly a year old is discovering his motor for the first time. He started a few weeks ago to flip his whole body over on the changing table during diaper changes. Then he began to do the butt scoot and before I knew it, he had one knee up, the other down and was moving with his hands towards anything that tickled his fancy. On a few occasions I witnessed his frustration as he was trying to get from one side of the room to the other but couldn’t quite figure out how to do it. Then the day came, in the midst of one such frustrating time that he fell flat on his bottom and began to cry. I simply smiled, reassured him that he could do it and began to cheer him on. Within minutes he was making the journey again across the room to where I was standing with a big smile and two bottom teeth showing. I cried. Not only did I cry as a mother but his experience was also mine as I seek to be on my "A" game to my music and performance as the Olympic athletes. There are times where I just can’t quite figure out how to do it, how to connect with the right audience or move forward in my career and I fall on my bottom and cry in frustration. But with those who continue to believe that my God-given gift is special and necessary to the world, I get up on one knee, put my hands down and crawl toward my goal. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Yet always aiming to maintain my form.
© 2017 Anakai Ney - Singer Songwriter.