Olympic Dreams and COVID
By Robert (Bob) W. Jones

Blogger Bob Jones has shared some insight on Canadian Olympian Melissa Lotholz and her Olympic dreams, brought to you with her permission.

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“The plan is to have a plan by the end of September.”

That’s what Melissa Lotholz has been telling people when they ask about the upcoming winter. “I am currently waiting on more info. And, the people we are waiting on are waiting on other people for more info. There’s a lot “up in the air” right now. The season might be delayed, reduced or even cancelled. Heck, the Olympics next winter may even get cancelled.”

Canadian Olympian

Melissa Lotholz is a Canadian Olympian from Barrhead, Alberta. Melissa is a pilot in women’s bobsleigh event—that says it all about her skill level and courage. And like all of us, COVID put a crimp in her plans for the future. What I love about her is how she chose to control what she could, improvise and be faithful to her process. Whatever you are processing—writing, publishing, pastoring, parenting—Melissa’s insight is gold-medal good.

“So, why train?”

I admit that some days my motivation feels pretty lean. However, in this time I am reminded again and again that I am called to the process not the outcome. The outcome—pandemic or not – was never in my control. I am called to be a steward. To do and make the best of what I have. To be faithful. Consistent. Thorough. And then, to let it go.

Work and Perseverance

It’s kinda like climbing a mountain: It is hard work and perseverance. It is commitment to the path before you. It can lead a magnificent view. But that view is not something you manufacture by sheer will, and when it’s time you leave it there at the top and move on. More than anything it’s a journey.

This morning, I was reading the story of Ezekiel in the Bible and was again reminded of the concept of “stewardship”. You see, Ezekiel was called to talk to the people of Israel “whether they listen or fail to listen” (Ez. 2:7). As frustrating as that would be, to have something to say and no one to listen… to share words of warning only to watch people carry on full steam ahead to their downfall… Ezekiel’s role wasn’t to ensure he was heard and that his words were followed, it was to be faithful to speak.

What is Your Role?

In the same way, as much as at times it may seem nonsensical right now, I feel like it is my role to train… to be faithful to prepare… whether there is a season or not. Whether there will be an Olympics or not. To determine or muster up those things is not in my scope. My role is to train. And I trust that in faithfulness there will be other rewards built up in and around me along the way.

After Labour Day, I am planning on heading on down to Calgary to start icehouse training in preparation for our team testing camp and the upcoming season. Due to the need to create and implement health protocols regarding facility use this is a lot later than anticipated and much, much later than usual (the icehouse usually is open in July!), but it is what it is. Either way, it will be great to finally get back on ice, get my hands on a sled, practice my push start and work on team timing with some of the girls.

If you feel tired or weary in pursuit of your goal, may I encourage you to join me in choosing “stewardship” and “faithfulness” in this season!

For more fun Q & A check out this Bobsleigh Canada Getting to Know our Athletes feature!

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About this Contributor:

Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
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