Thursday, August 14, 2008

Super Mom Personified

I am always on the quest to become Super Mom, but I have found the woman that has accomplished it. Her name is Melanie Roach, and if you have been reading about the Olympics, you probably have heard about her. She is unbelievable! She has three kids, one of whom is autistic, she runs a gymnastics studio, her husband is a Washington State House of Representatives legislator, she teaches Sunday school, and she is now competing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in the woman's weight lifting division! Man, I feel lazy compared to her. The next time I am exhausted at the end of a long day of working and taking care of the kids and the house, I am going to think of this power mommy. I can't even find time in the day to squeak in some cardio.

Not only is she competing this year, but she originally was set to compete in 2003, but was sidelined by a herniated disc. It was during those five years off that she had all three of her children and opened her gymnastics studio. During this time she also had back surgery and her son was diagnosed with autism. She suffered from depression, but says that it put things into perspective for her. "I realized that if you compared a child being diagnosed with autism to not making the Olympic team, all of a sudden that Olympic thing doesn't seem so bad." But five days after her surgery, she was back in the gym, doing Olympic lifts. Crazy, huh? Crazy, but worth it for her. In spring 2007 she won her seventh national title, clean and jerking DOUBLE her body weight. She was the first woman at the 2008 trials to secure her place in the Olympics.

Man, this woman has certainly put things into perspective for me. I am always thinking how hard it is to make things happen, and how it feels like I am just never going to get there. Then I see women like this who have overcome obstacles far larger and more daunting than any I have ever faced and I realize that most of us just are not living up to our potential. I am capable of so much more, it is just a matter of tapping into the potential that lies beneath the surface. It's hard. There's no doubt about that. But nobody ever got anywhere without a whole lot of hard work. What is it that they say? It takes 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Well, I'd have to say I am only perspiring about 75% at this point, so I have some more hard work to do.