Olympic Opportunities

Dear subscribers of Christiansciencect.com,    For the several weeks I’ll be running posts from some of my colleagues around the United States.  Today’s post is from Glenn Laycock,  the Committee on Publication for Manitoba.  Enjoy:

With the Olympics just around the corner, I read an article this week about Equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu, who at 71 will be competing in the London 2012 Olympic games .  The article is entitled, “A Japanese Olympian defies the age barrier” by Takehiko Kambayashi, who points out Hiroshi’s competition will be world-class athletes 30 to 40 years his junior.

This inspiring story reminded me of a period in my life when I felt like an ‘old man’ and was inspired to volunteer for a role to allow me the opportunity to demonstrate I could overcome the limiting perception I had about myself.

I had gone through a period of poor health, and being unable to work, and was finally back on my feet and employed, but felt – old.  I was heavy and lacked my “youthful” energy, optimism, and durability.  My olympic opportunity came to me in an unusual way.

At the time, my sister was in charge of corporate sponsorships for the city’s football team, and had just signed a large contract with a customer to supply the electric, diesel, and gasoline carts you see at games.  She had called me earlier in the day to say the contract omitted the client providing drivers for the carts used during the game to mostly “shuttle” seniors and handicapped people up the ramps.  In the past, the drivers had always been supplied and it was assumed to have been included in the contract.

Although my original reaction was to believe I could not physically do this, later in the evening it came to me that this was the right thing to do, and that I could not suffer or have lack when my motive was to help people.  I just knew God must know I am perfect for this, and that I would have to reflect that perfect image God had of me.

My assignment was to lead a team of drivers – on the West side of the stadium.  I would be radio linked to the network scripting channel, which gave countdowns to commercials and events and “situations” – for instance,  I would drive my cart loaded with mascots and cheerleaders around the field at approximately the 3 minute mark of the third quarter, when the CBC would break for a commercial and the “live commercial” would take place on the field.  Looks easy but I prayed to be alert and not to freeze because I was so scared the first time I did it.

To illustrate, on the radio you would hear “shuttle cart 1 and 2 (we had even numbers on one side, odd on the other), your event is in 3 minutes, work your way to field level gate 3 and 5.  Once I got to the “cue point” someone on another radio frequency would meet me, and jump on my front bumper – mascots on the back standing up, cheerleaders filling the rest of the seats – and you wait.  Then, the person on the bumper eventually says, “stand by” when a break in the game seems to be coming, and then jumps off the nose of my cart during a 5 second countdown … 5, 4, 3, 2 and waves to get going and at the exact moment the announcer starts the ad .. “Ladies and gentlemen we draw your attention to our game day shuttles which are sponsored by …”

I can tell you that before the game I had to fully realize that God would not put me in on a pathway and not enable me to do whatever was required to bring good into my experience.  I worked a great deal with this idea during the game, knowing I could do everything I needed to do.  I lifted wheelchairs onto the roof of my shuttle, dodged beer cans and occasional punches, stopped fights, responded to medical emergencies – so many “situations” where I learned to constantly calm my thought to prayerfully know what the correct action to take was, and to know God would harmonize all these variables into a loving, caring, and effective response.

Like the equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu,  I was able to demonstrate that my perceived limitations were entirely mental in nature, and by relying on  prayer – initially to correct my mental “impression” I had of myself, I would be physically able to learn and do the work required.

(Hiroshi Hoketsu) does embody many of the best attributes of
the Games – stamina, discipline, consistent athletic excellence, and,
most important, an uncanny ability to defy the perceived limits of age.
– Takehiko Kambayashi, Christian Science Monitor, July 23, 2012 –

Like these Olympic athletes, who starts with a goal of doing something beyond their ability – hard work, and in my case prayer – resulted in proving I could rise above the limiting perception I had by deigning it the victory of being the reality in my experience.

Glenn shuttling at a fundraiser.

In the end, this temporary position turned into a 10 year role which I joyfully signed up for every year.

Just like the path that equestrian chose – I am filled with gratitude that I took the path God had put in front of me when my sister came to me.  I am like Hiroshi’s horse Whisper, which had poor health and seemed unable to compete at the Olympics this year, but “suddenly recovered”.

Glenn Laycock is the Committee on Publication for Manitoba

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