Excellent Strategy

We caved and got cable coverage just for this month. Hey, it’s for the Olympics. So far we’ve seen figure skating and ice dancing. Last night, we sampled snowboarding in the men’s half pipe qualifying rounds.

They proved to be more interesting than originally thought. Each participant would have 2 chances to show their stuff on the extra-long pipe, the judges only keeping each man’s high score. Thirty men from various countries would whittle down to 12 for the finals.  Shaun White, four-time Olympic veteran and two-time gold medalist, showed up to play. At 31 years old, bless him, he’s easily the dad of the group. The median age seemed to hover in the low 20s.

The boarders took their turn, each with a different feel. Style counts in snowboarding, in case you didn’t know. You get points on attitude and technique. It’s not only about the tricks.


The team USA members resembled astronauts in their khaki jackets and pants, an American flag on their left shoulders. Their white helmets helped. The reflective face shields rendered them completely unrecognizable. Otherworldly, they hovered in the air, spun, flipped and dipped.

Some were casual. They were out for a stroll on a snow-encrusted cement pipe. Some had more intensity. They wanted to be remembered.

I considered strategy. What would I do? Then I knew. Shaun White was in the house. I would want to qualify. That means I would bring it. Every. Time. Just a few hundred -yards over, the men’s alpine skiing shut down for awhile due to 50-mile-an-hour winds. What if you only got one run in? What if you fell? I couldn’t afford to miss any opportunity to nab a spot in the last group.

Others  had the same idea. Ben Ferguson of Bend, Oregon, came out and did a 91-point run. The Tomato himself did a first run scoring 93.25 points.

“People forget you still gotta qualify to get to finals. I was stoked to put that run down. That took the pressure and the edge off, and then I started seeing everybody putting these great runs and I figured I would kin of just step it up. They motivated me to send it on that last run.” – Shaun White, on why he did a 98-point second run

And isn’t that the point? Bravo, Mr. White, and all the competitors. Stay inspired, and you will inspire the world. Makes me think of this scripture (below). Our pastor preached on it this past Sunday. It’s made me think about how I impact others. How can I inspire excellence and encourage, too? I’ll never be an Olympian, but I can strive to win in my life’s arenas every day.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is calledToday,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13