I'm supposed to be writing tonight... but I'm kinda distracted. Why you may ask?

The Olympics are on. This is an event that I don't care where you are in the world, you're represented at.

We're only a couple days in and things are already pretty exciting.

This is a disclaimer... I'm fairly sure the Olympic games will earn more space here in my blog before all is said and done.

First, the amazing and cool thing of having countries from all over the world gathered together is such a beautiful, cultural whirlpool to me. There is such beauty and diversity of the human race.

But the thing that fascinates me the most?

Why, the athletes of course. The best of the best in the world. Bodies that are well toned muscled machines from the labor of their sport.  Years, days, and hours of training and a sacrifice that few will ever understand.

It has taken a huge investment in their lives for them to stand in a starting position at the Olympics.

I'm always a bit in awe when I see these athletes and what they are capable of.

For instance, I happened to turn it on today during the ladies cycling event ( well, you know I was glued to watching it ;)

First, the terrain. The were riding up a mountain with more twists and turns than you could count. I'd love to know what the ascent was but they powered it like they were on flat roads, making it look almost effortless although I knew it was far from that.

Then, the descent was fast and "treacherous" as the announcers kept saying. The cyclists could hit speeds of 45-50 miles an hour on twisting roads back down the mountain.

One cyclist lost control and went flying. Although injured, she was ok.

USA held the lead until the final 200 yards when the pack of three behind her made a swift over throw and she finished fourth.

I literally cried for her. The finish line in sight. She had held the lead almost the entire race and then so close, to not even place for a medal.

I could not imagine what that felt like. Heart crushing comes to mind.

And there were lots of other exciting events going on too... but that's not what I'm focusing on tonight.

As awesome as these events are there's one thing it does for me.

It motivates me, challenges me and makes me wanna push myself more.

No, I will never be an Olympic athlete, nothing remotely close.

But I am an athlete and I fully understand they haven't gotten to where they are without training for it.

They get up every day and make choices to train their body for the sports they do. They eat well. They rest. They train hard. They live the life with a focus on what they do.

I have the same opportunities to train myself for the sports I enjoy and to improve in them.

I am only in a competition with myself. To get faster. Stronger. More fit. To be better at it than yesterday

I want to get over this injury so I can run again. That hinders me from an active pursuit of a duathlon. I want to continue to build my miles cycling pushing my speed and building a lot more endurance. I'm strong on hills but want to build that strength even more. I will continue to do strength training to work my body overall to keep it strong for the sports I pursue.

After watching such amazing swimmers during the Olympics it makes me want to work on that skill in my athletic life.  Triathlon someday? Maybe. I have some friends nudging me that way.

And overall, I want to represent the ordinary "middle aged" person who can be athletic and strong. (although my husband always informs me I'm not "ordinary" ;)

If you want to do something, you can.

Ah, but that thought skates into mental toughness, a strong will, and lots of determination that are best saved for another post.

Tell me... are you an "average" athlete? Perhaps you're even better than that. Tell me about your sport and why you push yourself to be better.