I Met a Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

by D.J. Paris on January 16, 2013

I got to meet a two-time Olympic gold medalist today.

A few months back I asked Brian Goodell to come speak to my sales team about motivation and having a positive attitude. I happened to come across him and thought it would be a great fit for our group. Never having met an Olympic athlete I was beyond excited. I’ve always been moved by people that achieve excellence.

His story was not different from most successful people I’ve studied. He was terrified of water, learned how to swim at age six, found a great coach, and busted his ass until he was eighteen when he broke the world record for the 1500m freestyle event at the 1976 Olympic games. Well, those details about him swimming and stuff, yeah, that’s unique. But the working really hard part isn’t.

Brian credited a lot of his success to his swim coach.

I’ve learned that in my own life I simply can’t do it all myself. You need two things I think that are outside of you. First is support. When times are tough you need people to lean on. You learn it’s okay to be weak and vulnerable because your support group holds you up when you can’t do it yourself. If you’re lucky this can come from both friends and family. The second piece is that you need a coach who sees more in you than you even do yourself. This, too, is support, but in a way that challenges your perception.

I know that if I sprung for a personal trainer I’d be twice as strong as I am today. He or she would get me to hit a few extra reps when I thought about giving up. Instead, now, I just roll up my shirtsleeves and stare longingly at my biceps in the full length mirror while jamming out to Megadeth.

Side note – I do not do that.

In choosing a girlfriend or wife it’s important to find someone that accepts me as I am currently but also encourages me to continue to evolve. I was talking with a woman last night who was thinking of leaving a corporate job to work in a completely different field. As she talked about this other field you could hear her voice get more passionate and came alive. It was inspiring to hear. I realized I need someone that can express this passion in my life as it helps kick-start my own evolution.

What I know is that passion gets you started. Then you simply have to put your head down and do a shitload of work. But the reward is both all the hard work and the results. I’m still at my relative heaviest but when I am running on that treadmill I’m proud of myself. When I get off the treadmill I’m proud of myself. Just walking to the gym fills me with a sense of pride.

I can’t, however, always get to the gym on my own. Or bust my ass at work at all times. Or scrub that inside part of the toilet until that mild ring thing begins to form. That’s why I need a coach.

While a girlfriend or wife is not there to “fix” me, she will be required to support me when I’m bummed out and also to kick my ass when I need a jumpstart. Oh, and for sex. Lots of filthy sex.

brian goodell dj paris

Why am I holding the medal like a moron?

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3 comments… read them below or add one

Kate Hall January 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm

He kind of looks like Phil Hartman. That’s pretty cool to meet someone like that – all that hard work and stuff. I don’t know anything about that.

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Julie DeNeen January 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

That’s cool that you met him!

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Rachel L.D. January 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

For me, I changed things about myself that I didn’t like that I had control over, and built up the things I did like, and then accepted the results because I’m only human. I wasn’t trying to be perfect. I was trying to do things that made me feel good. I decided to make choices that make me happy. Not anyone else. Just me.

I studied other people, studied what made them happy and tried all different things. It took like 3 or 4 years of just doing that….of loving myself and loving the choices that I was making, and learning from other people I admired.

Not unhealthy family. Not unhealthy friends. I stayed away from those. I don’t hang out with people I feel anxious around.

If you want to attract someone who will accept you as you are and be supportive during your times of personal growth — without being judgmental — and who is upbeat and motivating, then you have to try to be that way yourself without any negativity.

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