Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Lex Gillette: Message ‘four’ you

London 2012 silver medallist Lex Gillette of USA blogs about how the next four-year journey begins now. 11 Nov 2012
Lex Gillette

USA's Lex Gillette competed in five events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, including both the long jump and triple jump in the F11 class.

ⒸGetty Images

Maybe you made it to the Paralympic Games, but you did not make the podium. These next four years are your opportunity to revamp your plan in an attempt to achieve that goal.

Now that the London 2012 Paralympic Games have ended, athletes worldwide are gearing up for another four years in hopes of competing in the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

Everyone should know the Paralympics occur every four years.

But why four years?

If you are not aware, the Greeks used to measure time in four-year periods, otherwise known as an Olympiad, but did the Greeks just pull a number out of the sky, or is there an underlined meaning to the number four?

I think the answer may be all around us.

Many American college students spend four years learning a specific subject before graduating and entering the real world.

In the US, presidents serve a four-year term before the next president comes into office.

Paralympic hopefuls train for four years in hopes of competing and making it onto the podium at the Paralympic Games.

Are you starting to see a trend here?

When you look at it, these four-year periods give us the opportunity to produce and experience some sort of change.

As in the examples above, students graduate and hope to find jobs after four years, presidents hope that the country is in a better position after four years, and a Paralympic athlete hopes to be standing on the podium after four years.

Fortunately, we don't have to just hope that things will turn out the way we want, we can help determine the outcome.

Four years is more than enough time to help you get where you want to be, but you have to take it very seriously.

I don't know of any athletes who have made it onto the podium by training only a few days out of the week.

We have to show up to train on a consistent basis in order to get better at our sport. We also have to give it our all while in training.

The podium isn't for athletes who look for ways to make training easier. Training is supposed to be difficult.

If training isn't challenging us, then how do we get better? If we are not getting better, we are not taking advantage of the opportunity to put ourselves in a good position to make the podium?

Believe me, if you are not challenging yourself in training, there is someone out there who is, and they will be the one who experiences the joy of having their country's flag hoisted in the air for all to see.

If you have been to a Paralympic Games, then you have some sort of knowledge as to what it takes to get there. Use that knowledge to help you in the next four years.

Maybe you made it to the Paralympic Games, but you did not make the podium. These next four years are your opportunity to revamp your plan in an attempt to achieve that goal.

Maybe you didn't make it to the Paralympic Games. These four years are your opportunity to work extremely hard to try and make the next one.

No matter the situation, these next four years are yours. What you do with them will have a huge impact on your future.

Will you make it to the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil? Will you be standing on the podium with a medal around your neck?

In 2016, we will look back and that four-year time will tell us all that we need to know.

Be sure to make all four count.

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