Recently, a FaceBook friend posed this question: “When was the last time you did something you had never done before?” There were several responses. My response – I was attending the Olympic Track and Field Trials for the first time, in Eugene, Oregon. Not everyone wants to spend time watching track and field events. But I find that anytime I am able to observe people at the highest level of their activity, I am enthralled and inspired to be the best at what I do. Regardless of what that is.
Arriving in the town of Eugene, I was deeply impressed with the cleanliness and the focus on fitness. Everywhere I looked, I saw people running, biking, boating, and participating in physical exercise. This may be our country’s most fit city. While I was there, we rented bikes one day, and I biked alone one day. There simply is no way to be part of this town without wanting to jump in. That alone encourages the attendee to get out there and do it.
We took a trip to the coastline and saw the dunes of the west coast which are different than the east coast dunes. On the Oregon dunes, you are encouraged to jump on the grass, unlike our North and South Carolina coasts where one can be arrested for touching the grass. I did allow myself to tug on one of these pieces of European encroachers. They have 25 foot roots, so that didn’t work. The goal for the forestry group is to rid the dunes of these invaders, which they say are menacing the dunes.
At the University of Oregon, the fitness center is situated such that when one gets on an eliptical machine, bike, treadmill, or other moving equipment, the movement generates electricity to run the building. How brilliant. Imagine if this was initiated at every childcare facility in the country. We may have all the electricity we will ever need.
Several exciting moments which we had were while in restaurants. When the event winners walked into the restaurant, the crowd surrounding burst into applause and cheers. What an amazing feeling that had to be for the athlete who had previously been unrecognized. The event that brought tears to my eyes was the final 800 meter for Ashton Eaton, our decathlon winner. As he rounded the turn on the last leg, the two runners in front of him slowed and waved him on – allowing him to win the 12th event, and setting another world record. The teammanship touched everyone who saw it.
It is a very good thing to get outside of your life and to experience something that you’ve never done before. Try it soon.