The following was originally posted on Ruben Gonzalez's blog:
During the luge season I travel with a group of athletes from around the world. I’m 47 and all of them are in their 20s. We travel together, room together, eat together and train together. We really get to know each other.
Sometimes these young athletes remind me of what the boys that work on the deck of an aircraft carrier must be like. Why? Because they are focused, well coached, trained to do their jobs with precision, and willing to work hard to reach their goals.
As a whole my luge buddies are an outstanding group of people.
Our schedule during a race week is a full one. We eat breakfast, go to the track for a 2-3 hour training session, eat lunch, sometimes go back to the track for another session, eat dinner, spend 60-90 minutes reviewing videos of our training runs, and finally head out to the sled room to prepare our sleds for the race.
The sled room is whatever extra room a hotel has - usually an unheated garage or cellar. The sled room is the place where the unglamorous “behind the scenes” work that makes you faster on race day takes place.
The sled room is not a nice place. It’s cold and stinky. Everyone is sanding their steels to take out nicks that slow you down on the track. Everyone’s hands are black with steel and sandpaper dust.
The room smells like sweat and steel. There’s usually loud music playing but everyone is focused on making repairs and adjustments to their sleds.
We are a true team. Everyone helps everyone else. Throughout the season I get a huge amount of help from these young athletes. They know more about sled mechanics than I’ll ever know.
One day I was looking around the sled room and thought, “Wow. This is a room filled with Olympians. A room filled with ordinary people that are willing to do extraordinary things to realize their dreams.”
A room filled with outstanding kids fueled by a dream to be their best. When you look at them they look like a bunch of college kids. But they are a bunch of kids who have been transformed by the power of the dream. The dream to be the best they can be.
I am proud to have the privilege to know these young athletes. I am a better person for knowing them.
Find a group of winners and start hanging around them. They will help you take whatever you do to the next level.
Ruben Gonzalez is a three-time Olympian, a bestselling business author and renowned business consultant. For information on how to bring him to your next event, visit PremiereSpeakers.com/Ruben_Gonzalez.