“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
– George Bernard Shaw
An astrologer once told me that I have the tenacity of a Buddhist monk, and the persistence of an Olympic athlete. In other words, I have the staying power to keep it together no matter what, and the drive to keep going, come what may – two crucial ingredients necessary to achieve your goals.
“When you can hold your composure through adversity and still believe that you will realize your dreams, nothing can stop them from coming true.”– Rajni Kurichh
I remembered his words today after all these years because they define the five-time Olympian I’m highlighting in today’s post. It’s not always easy to find the good in every situation, or to keep a positive outlook when you’re faced with adversity, but that’s exactly how this three-time-gold-medalist-mother-of-three rolls.
Kerri Walsh Jennings is not only talented, fierce, kind, and determined, she’s the poster child for positivity, gratitude, and believing that anything is possible. This unstoppable trailblazer is nowhere close to slowing down. She doesn’t know the meaning of impossible, and doesn’t ascribe to age barriers, or any other limiting beliefs; she is the master of her destiny.
You might think that having a fifth shoulder surgery less than six months before qualifying for the Olympics would put a damper on a beach volleyball player’s dreams of taking gold at yet another Olympic Games, but not for Kerri Walsh Jennings. “I plan on winning in Rio” she says, after all, “this isn’t my first rodeo.” No, it isn’t – having surgery before going to the Olympics “is kind of standard” for her, having had the same experience before winning gold at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
What isn’t standard, although you wouldn’t know it to watch her in Rio, is that Kerri is playing on the other side of the court with her new partner – the dynamic duo have a magnetic energy that draws you in. When her long-time partner, Misty May-Treanor retired after the London Games, Kerri asked her opponent, April Ross to “go win gold in Rio.” Walsh Jennings spent her career on the left side of the court just like Ross, but volunteered to move to the right after they became partners, and just like the surgeries, playing on the other side of the court is no deterrent either.
Kerri’s ability to overcome any obstacle and show us that we can achieve whatever we desire with a positive mindset is awe-inspiring. She does it with an attitude of optimism, and truly believes that there’s a silver lining to be found in everything – obstacles are a blessing in disguise, as she puts it.
I planned to spotlight Kerri after they won gold in Rio, but I saw a clip about her outlook on overcoming obstacles today, and I decided not to wait. As it turns out, it’s her 38th birthday tomorrow, so the timing couldn’t be better. Synchronicity. Take a look:
Did you happen to notice that Kerri has the word ‘joy’ written on her hand? Looks like Kerri knows a thing or two about conscious creation – she’s constantly attracting joy towards her with that small act; like the joy of winning Olympic gold again perhaps?
Wishing you a very happy and joyful birthday Kerri!
And joyous is it – Kerri and April defeated Australia in the quarter-finals tonight, and are on their way to victory in Rio, showing us that dreams have no limits – that they do come true when you believe.
Kerri Walsh Jennings is living proof that your thoughts create your reality; that whatever you set your mind to, and believe that you can achieve is what’s possible; and that obstacles are simply stepping stones on your path to victory.
“Sometimes something seems bad initially, it’s really scary. If you take a deep breath, it generally turns out to be an amazing blessing in disguise. Every injury I’ve ever had – you know, is just a setback. Reset, refocus and forge on.”
– Kerri Walsh Jennings
I must have been sending positive vibes out to Rio, because just as I was in the middle of writing this post, I received a like on my Destined For Greatness feature image on Instagram. I took a closer look because the name looked familiar. Guess who it was? Kerri Walsh Jennings.
That’s a sign from the Universe that Kerri is on her way to manifesting Olympic history by becoming the first beach volleyball player to win four consecutive gold medals since the sport made its Olympic debut in 1996.
Don’t let obstacles stop you. Take it from this decorated Olympian, everything that shows up in your path, even the obstacles are blessings in disguise. Believe in yourself, have faith, and know that the hiccups along the way are just a setback. Reset, refocus and forge on…your future is waiting for you to create it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!