Snowboarders Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgardner win gold with a combined age of 76.
I definitely have voices telling me it's too late.
20 years of building expertise in a field only to leave it due to health challenges. Visions of raising mental health awareness for teenagers across the country and reforming the college application system all gone as my body initiated a total system crash.
So four years ago, I started over. My current field - astrology-based career and spiritual coaching - is less stressful and more fun, much more aligned with my values!
But at age 49, it's hard to feel like I still have time. As much as I love my field and get strong results, I miss 20 years of familiarity with dozens of industry connections and thousands of client experiences.
Is it too late to become a nationally recognized expert, to make an impact at the intersection of business and spirituality?
And then I look at the 2022 Beijing Olympic snowboard cross gold medal team of Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgardner.
Age 36 and 40 respectively, Jacobellis and Baumgardner were the two oldest competitors in the event and on the US team. In fact, Baumgardner was chosen over his higher-finishing teammate because his larger stature and weight was better for the event’s snowy conditions. So yes, the big, old guy actually had a competitive advantage.
Not only that, he had been in tears just a few days earlier, devastated by his 10th place finish in the men's individual. On national TV, he had discussed his heartbreak that his family wouldn’t see him compete for a medal. He thought his Olympics was over!
At age 40, Baumgartner had to be wondering whether it was too late. Could he reliably plan a comeback in Milan at age 44?
(Just so you know, the oldest Olympian competing in Beijing was at 49-year-old speed skater!)
Even as late as the day before the mixed pairs event he eventually won, he didn't know he would compete again.
And the next day, he's standing on the podium - not just on it, but at the top!
Jesus didn't begin his ministry until he was 30. As he marched towards his death at age 33, do you think part of him was wishing he'd started 10 years earlier?
But sometimes we're just not ready to be the person who stands on the podium until later in life!
That's what I remind myself.
Because the other option is just to give up! Deciding that it's too late creates a self-fulfilling prophecy - it’s by definition too late if you stop trying.
Grandma Moses started painting at age 78 because embroidery made her hands hurt. She sold her first painting for $3. In 2006, Sugaring Off sold for $1.2 million.
I could fill this article with examples of older people doing amazing things.
But the real question is not whether other old people have done amazing things (or whether you are even actually old at all) but whether you still think you can do something amazing.
Not something other people think is amazing and would earn plaudits, gratitude, or money.
But something that you think is amazing!
If a 40-year-old guy with gray in his beard, chosen because he was heavy, two days after crying in despair on national TV can do it, I think you can, too.
The real question is: what is that amazing thing you really want to do?
Start making a plan.
Ask Spirit to help you.
Find yourself a mentor and a team of cheerleaders who can have your back.
Brainstorm or dream and look for opportunities.
Or, consider being open to realizing that what you're already doing is pretty damn amazing.
I always used to think that more was needed (push to achieve, right?)
But Spirit has spent a lot of time convincing me that my 20-year tutoring business already was amazing.
And if I want to create something else amazing, there's time to keep working on my next version.
But try not to create your amazing out of lack: lack of time, lack of already having been amazing, lack of talent, inspiration, or resources.
Try to create it out of a sense of plenty:
You have plenty of time to change the course of your life, redirecting it towards something you think is going to be fun and cool and satisfying and successful.
You have plenty of support. If you can't see it, ask the universe to open your eyes to all the beings who support you.
You have plenty of internal resources - you've made it this far without getting hit by a bus; you must be doing something right. Or if that happened to you, and you're reading my post, at least you survived it! You have plenty of experiences to draw on to succeed.
You have plenty of ability to figure out or surmount any reasonable obstacle. You are a smart cookie, a powerful creator of your own life.
But whatever you do, don't decide it's too late. If the universe and your own internal desire brought you to this post, it's not!
Don't create a situation where you make your own worst fears come true by giving up and sitting down in the middle of the road.
Because then you really might get hit by a bus!
And that would be a horrible shame for all of us who are looking forward to witnessing whatever it is you decide to do with your amazing self!
Do you have a voice that's telling you it's too late? What do you say in response? Please let me know in the comments.
Like or share this with anyone who you think could use some encouragement today!
If you'd like another Olympic Pep Talk, check out this post on identifying your big advantage!