Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Shark Week!!....Where's Phelps now?


I believe implicitly that every young man in the world is fascinated with either sharks or dinosaurs.
Peter Benchley

If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren't willing to do.
Michael Phelps

I can't say I'm a huge TV junkie. I have a few shows I've loved throughout the years (i.e. "Arrested Development, which by some act of God has finally begun filming new episodes. New Arrested Development Episodes, )WOOOHOO . 

When I really get into a show, like Arrested Development, I tend to watch every episode (even though it is usually in retrospect via Netflix or something where I can watch one episode after another til I've seen em all). 

But the last couple of weeks have been special. I've been glued to what ever TV is close to me. It didn't matter if I was getting ready for a gig, or in the grocery store, or at a friend's house.

Of course this was due to the London Olympics 2012. Like everyone I know, I love watching the Olympics. As with every Olympics I watched sports I know nothing about. I got enthralled in the 6th place vs 7th place battle between Australia and Egypt in synchronized swimming. 

Being a former athlete I love watching sports from a technical standpoint, but more than that I love watching the competition. 

Sport is symbolic and representative of life's struggles and conflicts. Just like with life's conflicts, the competition shows us a lot about the competitor's character and will (it's very similar to yesterday's blog about dealing with adversity ). These competitions show how much heart and how much drive these athletes have during the heat of competition but it also indirectly shows the heart and desire they have obviously had for years and years. The training regime these athletes must endure in order to get to the Olympics requires a dedication that most all of us lack yet admire.

And since the Olympics are Sports on their grandest scale, everything is amplified. The competition is stiffer and therefore our insight into each competitor is more detailed.

I watched with pride as my fellow countryman, Michael Phelps, became the all time most decorated Olympian. Again this made me think of the insane amount of preparation he has had to put in to get to that point. I'd venture to say that guy has spent more of his life submerged than not. Watching the guy swim is like watching a fish swim. He glides through the water with a natural streamlined motion. 

As I sit in the wake of the London Olympics (pun intended) I was reflecting on Phelps' ability and athleticism. My mind then turned to focus on his killer instinct and competitive aggressiveness. In order to dominate a sport at such a high level he has had to have mental toughness and a steel will to train and train and train and train. Like his quote above says, "If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren't willing to do." Obviously he has done that. And due to it, he carved up the competition easy.

He carved up his competition so easily in fact that even though he is obviously still the person to beat, he has decided to retire. I fully understand his decision to call it quits. He doesn't really have anything left to prove. He doesn't have any REAL contenders. And in order to inspire the rigorous training an athlete like Phelps needs to stay on his A game, competitors need to be pushing him. He needs to feel them breathing down his neck, nipping at his heels. But he no longer does. 

This vicious swimmer thrives on the fight.

Then It struck me......

He's not like a fish, he's more like a.........SHARK!

This is the instant I realized........

I had to laugh. 

It's not just ANY ordinary Shark Week, It's the 25th anniversary of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Dang. I'm never gonna be able to get away from the TV.
This week they are doing a tribute to "Jaws" in addition to all the regular awesomeness that is Shark Week (Shark Week: Jaws Clip

I'm definitely going to be stuck watching Shark Week til it's over. 2 weeks of Olympics, then another week of sharks? My productivity is taking a severe hit. 

Therefore I devised a plan.

I believe I'm going to draft letters to the Olympic Commitee and Discovery Channel and see if I can get them to work on a new plan. I believe I will ask them to consider how much of a work hazzard they are being to me and people like me around the world. I will propose that during 2016 at the Rio Olympics, they can collaborate to have a more efficient program (I believe 4 years is a generous timeframe). In order for we, the people who love both the Olympics AND Shark Week to not have to miss 3 whole weeks of productivity, they should combine their respective programs. 

Hear me out.

The ratings would skyrocket, I have no doubts that all the swimming world records would get broken (fear of death is more of an incentive than Gold Medals), and......the most decorated Olympian the world has ever known, Micheal Phelps, would certainly be challenged enough to come out of retirement.

It's really a win-win. Both programs see a spike in their viewership and all of us can cut our non-productive time down from 3 weeks to 2 weeks.

(pcs courtesy of:

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