Q: Is it Too Late to Dream of the Olympics?

Dear Lauren,

I have always dreamed of going to the Olympics some day and running in college. What is the best way to work towards this goal seeing as I am already a senior in high school and am not the fastest on my team. What is your best advice to set someone on track to accomplish big goals such as these? Also what is the best way to build self confidence? As I have grown older I seem to have less and less of it and I question why I am running with “faster” runners sometimes during work outs and races.




Running in the Olympics is a huge goal many people have and very few reach, which is what makes it so special.  Just because your stats don’t make you an obvious pick now doesn’t mean you can’t do it.  Its been done by people who didn’t even start running until college or later!  But I would be lying if I told you it was a sure thing if you just got your confidence up and trained hard.  Becoming the top .0001% of anything is partly due to choices you make, but its also due to a lot of things that are out of your control (luck included).

My advice to you is to identify the qualities of an Olympian that you can control, (dedication, research, hard work, mental strength, visualization of your goals, sportsmanship, balance, confidence) and make those your focus.  Live like an Olympian.  Put yourself in positions to be successful.  That’s all you can do.

I heard a saying in high school that changed my life, “Shoot for the moon.  If you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I still haven’t hit “the moon” but I haven’t given up.  Most importantly I’ve learned that simply pursuing the moon has shaped every decision I’ve made in my life.  Even if I never hit it, pursuing it affected the friends I made, the man I married, the places I traveled, the college I went to…and it just goes on for years and years and years.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

So, first things first, start with finding a college program to run in.  Do your research.  Think like an Olympian.  Go for it!