Aren’t the Olympics awesome? The chance to compete against the best of the best from across the entire globe – and we only let you do it every 4 years!
Which is why the latest “social media post heard ’round the world” has garnered SO MUCH attention… LOL!
In case you think this photo is simply a moment in time, lucky to be captured – Here’s a full summary of the life and times of Michael and Chad (Thanks to Time Magazine… Full article here…)
July 2012: Chad le Clos beats Michael Phelps by five hundredths of a second at the 2012 London Olympic games during the 200-meter butterfly race. After the games, Phelps announces his retirement.
April 2014: Phelps comes out of retirement to compete in his first meet since leaving the sport; significantly, he does not compete in the 200-meter fly, saying that he would never enter the race again.
May 2015: Phelps has a change of heart and competes in the 200-meter fly at the Arena Pro Series, telling reporters that the times that competitors have been clocking in the event are “really not that fast.”
August 2015: After winning the 100-meter fly at the 2015 FINA World Championships, Le Clos had choice words about Phelps. “Michael Phelps has been talking about how slow the butterfly events have been recently,” he said. “I just did a time he hasn’t done in four years. So he can keep quiet now.”
Later that day, Phelps beat le Clos’ time in the 100-meter fly at the Phillips 66 National Championships and responded to le Clos’ statements. “There are a lot of things I could say. But I won’t,” he said. “I’m going to let what I do in the pool do my talking.”
Le Clos and his father, however, answer with more sports analysis; le Clos states, “I’m just very happy that he’s back to his good form, so he can’t come out and say, ‘Oh, I haven’t been training,’ or all that rubbish that he’s been talking,” while the elder le Clos told the AP that he was confident that Chad would beat Phelps. “However fast Michael goes, we go faster. I don’t care about his times, because I know my son is going to beat him.”
November 2015: In an interview with Sport 360, le Clos reveals that he was hurt by the rift with Phelps, but also takes the opportunity to throw shade at his opponent. “If I was as great as he was, I would conduct myself in a way children would be proud of…I thought I was good friends with him, clearly not. I don’t think he likes me very much.”
August 2016: Phelps and le Clos meet again in Rio, where spectators are equally bemused as they are intrigued by le Clos shadow boxing and dancing before the preliminary race as Phelps glowered in a corner, giving us the meme of the Olympic games, heretofore referred to as #PhelpsFace. Phelps went on to beat le Clos in not only the preliminary heat, but also in the final race…
WOWZERS. I gotta say, this story has enough drama in it – We might accidentally mistake these two guys for pageant contestants!
Therefore, today we’re going to talk about Michael vs Chad – Winners vs Losers… And how to tell the difference between winners and losers…
PRESSURE REVEALS CHARACTER
Think you’ve got pressure? Let me tell you – The Olympics are pressure personified!
It’s a BIG DEAL to be an Olympian – Let alone win a medal! Why? Well – As we said above, it’s because these games only take place every four years! What if you only got to compete in a pageant every four years – And you didn’t get another shot at competing again until 4 years later? See? Now you get it!
When the pressure is on – Life has a way of causing each of us to reveal our “true” selves. Why is it that some ladies shine at their state pageant, but not on the National stage? It’s because whenever there’s more at stake – We tend to get more nervous about things – Because there’s more at stake (what a cycle!)!
On the flip side, if you understand how to manage pressure, you’re much more likely to have a positive pageant experience. Here’s what I mean…
Whenever you face pressure (or are starting to feel stressed out about a situation) – the best thing to do is take a deep breath, appreciate the moment, and realize how fortunate you are to have received such an incredible opportunity. Once you do that, you’re now responding to pressure with gratitude… And gratitude is a MUCH better state of mind than nervousness (which only creates more pressure).
If you find yourself falling under the category of “nervousness” and “stress” – it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions. Why is this such a big deal? What do I need to do in order to breathe and get some perspective? Is my life completely over if things don’t go the way I want?
When you’re able to calm yourself down and answer those questions in a relaxed state of mind, you’re well on your way towards an “appreciation” mentality. An appreciation mentality is what allows you to enjoy the journey – rather than getting wrapped up in specific answers that haven’t yet been realized.
It doesn’t mean you won’t walk through times of stress and pressure in your life (we all do), but it does mean you’ll have a much better chance of surviving whatever pressure-filled situation you’re in, without ending up in the fetal position, crying like a baby. Winners handle pressure by shifting their focus. Losers freak out and crumble when the pressure picks up.
SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR MAMA
Truth is – Chad isn’t really a loser. He’s better than THOUSANDS of other swimmers out there in the world. He’s beaten Michael Phelps before, and he has himself an entire closet full of medals from the top races and events world-wide. However, clearly, Chad’s pre-race bravado caught up with him on the world stage where everyone could see it laid out in front of them.
And let’s be honest… If the circumstances had changed – and if Chad would’ve won… Would that make most of us “happy” that his trash-talking and slightly obnoxious attitude led to victory? Nope! LOL! I’m guessing most of us would’ve been annoyed or even angry because of his arrogance and lack of humility.
Now – As a pageant contestant, you may not get the chance to directly engage in “trash talk” with a fellow contestant in front of the media (dear God let’s hope not)… But I gotta say, if you’re one of these ladies who “takes a swipe” every once in a while at a fellow competitor – Maybe through a back-handed compliment or a sassy response, then it’s time for you take a good long look in the mirror (or at Chad’s loser face).
Your ability to talk bad about someone else DOES NOTHING for YOU. All it does is prove you’re worried about your competition! Your chatter shows your heart – And obviously, your heart is caught up in thinking about someone else (otherwise, you wouldn’t have anything to say about them).
And just like Chad… Even if you “talk smack” about the competition and then go on to win, nobody will be happy about it. Why? Because arrogant people are the worst. And it’s just not necessary. Winners are classy. They win with humility and dignity. Losers may “win” – But I can almost guarantee your pride will eventually lead to an ugly fall.
WHAT YOU FOCUS ON, MATTERS…
As I’ve said before in this very blog and in countless posts I’ve written… What you focus on, matters. Is your focus on “not eating ice cream” or is it on “getting healthy”? Is your focus on the right gown, the right shoes. and the right hair/makeup? Or is your focus on showing the judges who you are as a person?
Whatever you focus on, will be what others see. That’s why you hear smart contestants say things like, “I just wanted to focus on having a good time”… You don’t hear smart contestants say things like, “I really tried to focus on not stressing out.”
Focus on what you want. Not what you don’t want. Based on the now infamous #PhelpsFace, I’m guessing Michael may have wanted to focus on smacking his opponent right in the kisser! However – Michael channeled his energy – And instead of letting some “light shadow boxing” get in his head, he decided to focus on the win. On his turns. On his breathing. Heck – who knows – Maybe he had to concentrate SO HARD on keeping his focus on himself, that the ensuing #PhelpsFace is what we all saw!
Let’s just say – whatever it takes to keep yourself focused on YOU – then by all means, do it. If it means you’re concentrating so hard on your own performance, then rock your #PhepsFace backstage, in a corner, as long as you wish. 🙂 To steal a phrase, winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.
THE END IS NEVER REALLY “THE END”
Michael admits he went through a “rough patch” in life between retirement and where he is today. He received a DUI, he went through re-hab – and at one point, he even said he “didn’t want to see another day”.
He admits, part of the reason he struggled so much – is because he’d accomplished all of his goals… and there wasn’t much left to live for.
Now – it may not be this dramatic, but I’ve seen plenty of pageant contestants struggle with the “next step” of life either because they’ve aged out – or because they’ve been working towards being “Miss fill-in-the-blank” for so long, they’ve never thought beyond it.
As someone who was once in that boat, may I just say, the end – is never really the end.
If you truly love something, you’ll find a way to still participate in it. If you really want something, you’ll open your mind to alternative possibilities that still make participating possible (after all – Michael Phelps quit drinking and everyone around him says at the age of 30, he’s NOW in the best shape of his life!).
Twenty years ago, I’d just been handed my second loss at Miss Kansas. Shortly thereafter, I took a new job, packed my bags and moved across the state line – Never believing I’d ever be involved in pageants ever again.
Thank God I was wrong.
Because I love pageantry and specifically the Miss America program, I am thrilled that “my end” was not really “the end”. And if you’re someone who truly finds joy through pageantry, then you can also dream new dreams… meet new people… chase new thoughts of inspiration… And see where your future leads…
It’s entirely possible that what you think is “the end” – is really just the beginning.
Even though I thought it was the end – It turns out, my participation in pageantry was just the beginning. And when I look back now, it’s crazy – but, I had no idea that my “circle” would bring me to the place where I sit today.
The end is never really the end – If you don’t want it to be the end. I’m guessing these gold medals mean more to Michael Phelps than many of the other ones in his phenomenal career… Why?
Because he made the choice to keep going, when he could’ve quit.
And in the end – That alone – is the biggest difference between winners and losers. 🙂
To see more Thursday Posts like this one, just click here…
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 18,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she’s galvanizing an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.