The Olympic coverage has to make you think about how we learn courage. Watching people throw themselves in the air for 3 or 4 spins to land perfectly on their feet is mind boggling when you consider what happened inside of them on the first day they decided they were going to learn how to do this trick. What is that special energy that opens us up to the unknown, the potential of serious injury with the gusto required to perform these supernatural acts?
I will never have that kind of courage. But having the courage to see your life as a new possibility everyday comes close. Dealing with all the pieces that are broken or the mistakes that inevitably cost time and money, or the people who disappoint us, all of these completely normal acts of living take courage too. Some days, even this kind of courage is hard to muster.
Then I think about gratitude. This is where courage springs from in us. For those amazing athletes, it must be the joyful realization of all that they can do with their bodies, the grateful elated recognition of who they are that gives them courage.
For the rest of us, just small doses are enough. We get to do this life again today. The sun shines, the rain comes down, the cold snap comes and goes and here we are – having another chance to do our day. Learning to pay attention to the smallest details of how life works for us is a good place to start. This is the first courageous act.