Striving like an Olympian

Yet again and against all odds, over the past fortnight we have witnessed some magic that only the Olympics is capable of delivering. Capturing the hearts and minds of a truly global audience, we have witnessed some incredible sporting achievements. Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time; Usain Bolt triumphed in the 100m & 200m for a third olympics in a row, Simone Biles  mesmerised on the gymnastic floor, and Trott and Kenny excelled as the golden couple in the velodrome.

In amongst all of the truly extraordinary stories of human endeavour, success, spirit and failure, there was one moment which stands out and embodies what Striving is all about. During the Women’s 5000m heat, US runner Abbey D’agostino collided with New Zealander Nikki Hamblin on the track. Despite there being a place in the podium at stake and ignoring 4 years (maybe more!) of back breaking training, Hamblin stopped to help D’agostina back to her feet. On the biggest stage in athletics, there was a magical moment when the two strangers ran together, both managing to cross the line and  finish the race.


Image Source: Sky Sports


The pair have since been given the coveted International Fair Play Committee Award medal by the IOC. This is definitely an example of the STRIVE philosophy: ‘growth happens when you step out of your comfort zone, magic happens when you do it together’.  Check out the full inspirational video here. 

It easy when STRIVE begins to treat it like a race: to try and Strive to be the fastest, push yourself the hardest or win the gold medal. But the Virgin STRIVE Challenge is not only a race or a physical challenge. It’s about the journey, it’s about having fun and its about doing it together. It’s about a group of ordinary people pushing themselves to do the extraordinary, coalescing around the singular purpose of raising money to invest in the next generation.

Participants are all itching to put on their  STRIVE kit, aspiring to be the next Bradley Wiggins, but, when they are on the road it imperative we strive as a team. Cheering the first and last person home in the evening, and supporting each other along the way.

STRIVE will no doubt be a challenge and an opportunity for everyone to push themselves out of their comfort zone. But whenever and wherever you STRIVE, the only person you are competing against is yourself: to challenge yourself, and your mindset, to change from fixed to growth.

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It’s important to remember that the magic of Strive will not just be in the achievement of the team reaching the summit of Etna, or getting a Strive medal, it is that they are all coming together for an awesome challenge, believing that change is possible.  

Now that the Olympics are over, make sure you follow STRIVE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as Strivers head off on a crazy adventure from the Matterhorn to Mount Etna to raise £1.5 million for Big Change.