Friday, August 19, 2016

Be Golden Anyway

A very special Taekwondo athlete will go for the gold at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, tomorrow.

Stephen Lambdin is not my student. That honor belongs to Jason Poos of Poos Taekwondo in Edmond, Okla. (Great job, Coach!) I know, though, that for years, I've been around him without realizing it. I’m sure Lambdin and I crossed paths several times during his many years competing in national Taekwondo tournaments at which I oftentimes volunteered. I probably even waltzed him out to his competition ring at a U.S. Open or two. Maybe he was humble and quiet back then. More likely, I was simply clueless.

A little over a year ago, I read a Facebook post about how funding was cut for some of the United States’ most elite Taekwondo athletes, and that many of these athletes were having a difficult time continuing their training. Lambdin was one of them. So I decided to donate a portion of sales of my book, No Pouting in the Dojo, to his training fund.

Now don't get all "Rah-rah! Thanks, Cathy." The donation was miniscule compared to Lambdin’s overall expenses. Still, I hoped that I wasn’t the only one helping out. And now that he was on my radar, I watched him. And boy, he did not disappoint.

Lambdin continued training—HARD. He traveled to Europe to hone his mental conditioning in the frigid waters of Poland and left behind buckets of sweat from exhausting lactic threshold training drills designed by Tim Thackrey and Dr. Jason Han. (A martial arts buddy says that no one ever drowned of sweat. True!) I watched as Lambdin rose to the top—to become the best of the best in his weight class in the world. I watched him fight hard at USA Taekwondo Trials to secure a spot on the country's Olympic Taekwondo team.

And now Lambdin fights on Saturday in Rio.

He has worked very hard for this moment, and with the help of a plethora of training partners, the support of his loving family, and a faith in a tremendous higher power, he's ready. His time has arrived.

So in the spirit of a prayer made famous by Mother Teresa, I have a few special words for Lambdin as he steps onto the world stage tomorrow:
Stephen Lambdin fights for Team USA. Watch live on


They said you were too slow. Be fast anyway.

They said you weren’t sharp enough. Be smart anyway.

They said you weren’t good enough. Be great anyway.

They said you couldn’t win gold. Be golden anyway.

Best of luck,