Live Like a Champion!“Live Like a Champion”  I meditated on those inspirational words by one day while running. It was one of those runs where I was consumed by thoughts of what I was wishing for, and reminded for the millionth time of my recent failed relationship. I ran with the Rocky mountains as my backdrop, thankful for the opportunity to begin fresh with new wisdom. I can’t change the past, I can’t change people, but I can change me. The words “live like a champion” rang out.

I have worked closely with athletes since I was 14 years old. I have had a front row seat to the game, and also the locker room. What makes a champion? It occurred to me that all champions started out just like all the other athletes. They suffer injuries and losses. They have the same coaches as everyone else. Why do they rise? What element sets them apart? I smiled as I thought of the athletes that I most admired from high school, college, and adulthood. These were not just successful athletes, but good friends as well. I know them and their hearts.

It is what is in a champion’s heart that makes him/her unique? We all know that you can win a championship and not become a champion. You can make a ton of money as a professional athlete and still be a loser. Champions don’t just win games, they win at LIFE, and in the end it’s the only game that matters.

Champions give effort consistently, not just when they feel like it. Champions win with grace, and lose with class. Champions understand their power and influence and use it to make the world better. Champions understand teamwork, discipline, and focus. Champions inspire others. Most of all…

Champions don’t make excuses!

They aren’t satisfied with status quo. They aren’t settling for less than the best. Obstacles are just minor things to be overcome with hard work. Challenges are embraced as opportunities. This translates to life off of the field.

All of us have a champion within us. Whether we are athletes or stay at home moms, we all are playing the same game. Life is more challenging than any sport.

Being prepared, putting in the work, overcoming the obstacles are all required for success. Focus on the priorities (and discipline to do the hard stuff no one else wants to do) is how to become your own personal champion. Excuses leave you in last place. Blaming others for your last place finish is being a sore sport.

I asked myself today what kind of champion do I want to be? I am a champion in the making…. I want to be a champion for change in the nation’s health, a champion for children, a champion for my church, a champion for humanity. I am passionate about creating a legacy someday. When I am gone, I want people to say “yes, she never played a sport, but I would consider her a champion.”