’tis the season of the Olympics, and the medal tallies for each country are scrutinized keenly. In some sports, there are well known champions, while in others, new ones are created everyday.
One such champion is 24-year old American swimmer Katie Ledecky. She’s considered one of the best swimmers of all time, with 7 Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals.
Quite the feat. When I watch videos of her races, they are simply unbelievable because of the gap between her and number two. The focus and determination needed to not just swim 8 minutes at super speed with the whole world watching, but to also practice many many hours more on a daily basis, the capabilities of the human body are just mind boggling.
One practise video shows her swimming a lap in an Olympic pool while balancing a brimful glass of chocolate milk on her head with nary a spill. If there was a better demonstration of focus, stability and poise, I haven’t seen one. There’s another one where technology shows the World Record time as a line drawn across the pool as Katie swims, and the previous WR line is actually chasing her from behind!
Yet, as life shows us over and over, no matter the level of success, a new era will dawn where the incumbent is vanquished by an emergent victor. For Katie Ledecky, there is another Katie, a 15-year old Katie Grimes, who is already nipping at her heels. And hence for everyone in life, there is zero room for ego – which incidentally is the crux of all spirituality as well.