The Olympics have ended and I am almost at a loss as to what to do with my time…at least my obsession with watching and cheering USA on was successful. I saw something the other day on tv, however, that was Olympics related so I watched it for a minute and was intrigued.
There was a Nike ad that I saw frequently during the Olympics (I didn’t hear the words to it, because I mostly saw it at work where the televisions are muted). However, there was another version that I never actually saw but that supposedly aired, with a similar theme. It featured a boy, 12 years old and overweight, running. That’s it. And the narrator talks about greatness is often believed to be reserved for a “chosen few” but that in reality it is possible for each of us to attain.
Firstly, that is such a true statement. We often think that if we aren’t of a certain caliber, then we aren’t capable of doing much of anything. That is true in sports, in fitness, in our jobs, in anything in life. And we are fed images and stories constantly about those that are achieving great things and they become our models and the standard to which we try to stack up. But really, we’re all capable of anything, anyone can achieve greatness. And how often do we see those “great” models fail or merely show their humanity and we stand by as they are lambasted for it.
I love the quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Whatever mode we come by greatness, it is there for everyone. And isn’t greatness in the eyes of the beholder, perhaps? What someone deems a great thing maybe isn’t all that much to someone else.
Secondly, this kid (Nathan) has come under a lot of fire for doing this commercial. So have his parents for supposedly exploiting him. During the interview, I think that was made pretty clear that wasn’t the case. If it has any positive effect, whether on someone watching, or simply on Nathan as motivation, I think the effort was beyond worth it.
What is greatnesss-is it what we do, what we achieve, who we are? I certainly don’t believe our greatness is defined by what we look like, or how fit we are. Maybe somehow that all fits in, but no singular thing defines greatness in a life.
Go watch it yourself and see what you think: