Athletes have spent many, many, many hours, months, and years of training, developing skills, gaining bodily strength and stamina, as well as constantly seeking more knowledge to perfect their talent and rise to a higher competitive level.
Then they repeated the process. More years of training, learning better skills, becoming even stronger and wiser so that they might achieve the next higher level of competition.
...so that they can repeat the process again, and again, and again, after each new level of competition is accomplished...
I wonder if those who won the "Gold" remember what it was like to begin. Do they remember what it was like before they invested that first hour of their time? Are they so far distanced from that moment that they couldn't explain "step one" to a beginner?
What about those who didn't win anything? Were they so consumed by their passion that now there is nothing but a yawning emptiness that engulfs them?
I was glad to see that some of the competitors were not hesitant to thank God for their talent. I remember one competitor who did not win, but was grateful that the Lord gave her a chance to compete.
Being passionate about a dream is one thing. Being consumed by it is another. Keeping our eyes on the "Big Picture" while we steadfastly follow our dreams allows us to grow and flourish. That helps us to accept the defeats as well as the victories - and to remember how far we have come since we took that first step toward the dream.