Episode 66: Playing Full Out - A Lesson from the Olympics
Emily shares her takeaway from one of the most inspiring stories that came out of the Olympics that you may also carry with you through for the rest of your life.
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I was brought to tears, thinking about the courage that it takes to do something that's never been done and not to do it in private, but to do it when you know that you have the most people ever watching your performance when the stakes are the highest. And to me, I imagine this wrestling with do I try to get the medal and lay it a little safer or do I leave it all out there on the ice? So that for the rest of my life, I don't have to wonder what would've happened had I tried the quad axle.
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Hello and welcome back to the Em Makes Money. Okay, you guys are gonna laugh at me because it is August and the topic for this episode is something that really touched me from the winter Olympics. So we're talking months and months and months and months ago now. But I can't stop thinking about it. And I'm not usually one to remember all the details about something, but I can still tell you this guy's name. And the wild thing is that this is someone who didn't even medal in the Olympics. And yet to me, it was the most inspiring story that came out of the Olympics.
So here's the deal in figure skating, particularly in men's figure skating. There was a big speculation in the Olympics about whether or not we would see a quad axle attempted on Olympic ice. And. Of course, I don't know all of the ins and outs of figure skating. So I learn as the announcers are talking about why these things are important, but the triple axle is still one of the highest scoring things in any figure skating. But women aren't even allowed to do any quad jumps. So the triple axle is the highest scoring, non-combination jump that women figure skaters can do. And for the longest time, it was the same for men. So something about the axle jump is already really difficult. And then now we're starting to talk about quad axles.
So I looked it up and the thing that makes the axle jump the most difficult is that you're entering the jump facing forward. Whereas all the other jumps you're entering it facing backward. So in order for it to count, there's an extra half a rotation that's required. So for a triple axle, you're having to make three and a half rotations for the quad axle.
You're having to do four and a half rotations in order for it. So quad axle never, ever, ever been attempted on Olympic ice. There's only a handful of men's skaters in the whole world that can do 'em. I don't think there's any women skaters at this point that can do a quad-axle. So it's exciting because we're already seeing the evolution of the sport. And then there's this question of like on the biggest stage with the biggest spotlight, will it be attempted? And so there's this Japanese figure skater named Yuzuru Hanyu. Hayu was in the competition in like the men's individual and had been practicing the quad-axle in the days, leading up to the singles competition or the short program, or what have you. And so he attempted it multiple times in practice fell every time. Try it. Fell again, tried it again, fell again. So this was like the day before the competition. And so the announcers on competition day are like, what's gonna happen. So of course they're watching him in warmup, in warmup. He goes for the quad-axle falls and tries one more time falls again.
So now we're talking about someone who has fallen the last six times. He's attempted this jump. Is he gonna do it on Olympic ice? What's gonna happen? Is he gonna land it? Is he even gonna try it? and often if you're into figure skating, you will see the skaters say they're gonna do one thing. And then sometimes they kind of feel like uneasy during the program and they don't even attempt it.
So like, they'll go for a triple axle up. It was a double like it'll say on their roster that they're about to do like a triple flip-triple loop. They'll go triple flip, double loop. And so they'll land it, but they'll do a lesser version. because for whatever reason, they're not feeling confident in that moment. So they kind of call an audible so to speak. So there's all of this speculation as to whether or not he's going to attempt it. And I believe like based on his age and maybe he already said this going into the Olympics, that this was going to be it for him. Right. This was last time on Olympic ice. And so he goes out there and he's skating his routine and I believe it's the opening jump because you wanna do it on like the freshest legs. So he's leading up to it, leading up to it.
What's gonna happen? He jumps in the air. He goes for the quad axle and he falls and he gets up and he does the rest of his routine. And when the dust settles and all of the scores are in and all of the men compete, he finishes fourth.
So he doesn't medal in the Olympics. And I was brought to tears thinking about the courage that it takes. To do something that's never been done and not to do it in private, but to do it when you know that you have the most people ever watching your performance when the stakes are the highest. And to me, I imagine this wrestling with do I try to get the metal and lay it a little safer or do I leave it all out there on the ice? So that for the rest of my life, I don't have to wonder what would've happened had I tried the quad axle and it still brings tears to my eyes. And maybe you can even hear it in my voice because the truth is, I don't think I would've been brave enough to do.
The fear of judgment, the risk of embarrassment having fallen the last six times, attempting this, I don't think I would've had the courage to go out there and fall on my ass in front of millions and millions of people watching, representing my country, knowing that was going to be my last time on Olympic. But I wanna be like him. I just have the utmost respect for someone that says, I don't wanna wonder. I don't wanna get to the end of my life and wonder what would've happened. If I had played it all out. And if I had really gone for it, what would've happened and that's why it still touches me to this day. And that's why I wanted to record an episode about this. At some point, we're all gonna get to the end of our lives. And if we're lucky, if it happens slowly, if it happens in old age, we will have a lot of time to reflect back on how we spent the years on this planet, in this body, in this lifetime. I can't imagine getting to that point. And having a lot of regrets and a lot of pivotal moments where it's like, oh, what would've happened? Had I had the courage to try and having to live with that question, cuz there's no answer. And for user honey, he's got the answer. The answer is I tried and I fell, but you know what? I tried and now there's no part of my life where I have to live with the question of what would've happened.
I know. I gave it my best. I went out there and I tried. And so I pulled up this article where he talks about his mindset and he said, performing in that atmosphere makes me so happy. I'm so glad that I'm user Han you. I am so lucky. I knew that there were so many people supporting me on the other side of the television cameras. The same goes for the people in China. The same goes for the areas where we were devastated by the earthquake in Japan. I knew that a lot of people were supporting me from all over the world. I failed to realize my dream of competing in this Olympics, but I have worked really hard for it. So he was hoping to get it. He has been a gold medalist in the past.
And so this time he didn't medal at all, but he said, if I'm not doing the quad-axle, I could have done a better combo, but the attempted quad-axle was my pride. It's going to make me more complete. That's why I did it. Isn't that so beautiful? And he goes on to talk about the fact that he actually injured himself the day before attempting to do it in practice.
And he still went out there and tried it. Can we live our lives this way? Can we take this example? I've been hiding, I've been playing it safe. I've been too much in my comfort zone, whether that's in our business or in our personal lives, you will listen to this and you will intuitively know a place where you've been hiding and where you've been playing it safe, where you've been too comfortable. Let this episode be a challenge for you, an invitation to get uncomfortable, to get out of your comfort zone and to leave it all on the competition floor.
It's funny because in our lives, most of us don't have millions of people watching. Most of us don't have cameras. Following our every move. Most of us don't have commentators talking about what's happened. Most of us don't have to talk to the media afterwards and explain ourselves. And yet we're still scared. We're still not playing it full out. We're still not fully going for our dream. We're still not saying exactly what we want to say without mincing words. We're just not. And what I wanna ask of you is when you fast forward and imagining yourself fast forwarding to the end of your life, are you gonna be okay with that? If the answer is no. Then what are you gonna do about it? Your best gets to get better over time.
What feels scary and courageous. Now, if you keep doing that, you will stretch your edges. And in a year's time, you will look back and say, oh, that's cute. That version of me that thought that that post was so scary and so unfiltered. I'm now in a totally different realm of potency and of speaking my truth. But it all starts with us being willing to meet ourselves, whatever our current edge is and playing all out and doing our best and taking the risk that we fall in front of an audience that we feel embarrassed, that we feel some shame that we feel some judgment, but underneath it all saying, but what's more important to me is that I went for. And I know I gave it my all and because of that, I can live with myself.
What I can't live with is my water-down truth. My, oh, I say, I'm going after my dreams, but I'm not really, I'm actually holding back so that I can stay comfortable. That's what I can't live with. So I'm beyond grateful to use Zuru Hanyu for giving us that example. And I think it transcends our traditional definition of success.
We would say success in the Olympics looks like a gold medal or a silver medal or a bronze medal being on the podium, seeing your flag raised, but he didn't do that. And he's done that in the past, but he changed the definition of success. And success for him was leaving it all on the competition floor, going for it, no matter what, living a life, where he doesn't have regrets or questions or what ifs at the end of his life. And to me, that's a definition of success that we could all look at and we could all choose to adopt. If your definition of success right now in your business or in your life is perfection or being beyond reproach or never screwing up or never having conflict. That's a small life. If your definition of success is playing full out, everything gets to change.
I hope this inspires you. I can't wait to know what new actions you're gonna take based on this episode. So please tag me, share, slide into my DMS. Let me know. I really look forward to celebrating this version of you that decides to play full out. Just like I'm doing for myself. I love you. I hope you have a wonderful day and I'll talk to you soon.
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