Inspiration San Antonio 2012

I am in a quiet San Antonio airport on a Sunday morning. The sun is slowly illuminating the clouds outside. So with every minute, this room gets brighter for me and the handful of the people at this gate that will be flying today. I am aching because I wanted so much to sleep another two hours. But I’d rather be get home early and see my girls.

Yesterday we hosted Inspiration San Antonio at Six Flags Fiesta. About 1500-1600 teenagers came to the event, which is our highest attendance in the 9 years since we first started hosting the event.

Friday was night was a rare treat. When my plane touched down in San Antonio, I called my Uncle Paul and my cousin Jonathan to see if we could meet for dinner while I was in town. Within an hour, the three of us were sitting down at a Z-Tejas near my hotel.  It was cool to see Jonathan now as a junior in college. Oh how time flies.

Olympics

Speaking of flying, I’ve really enjoyed the 2012 Olympics in London. My family never got into the Olympics when I was young, but Candyce’s family makes a big deal out of it. When the 2008 Olympics in Beijing came around, I was studying for the GMAT to enter graduate school. What a difficult, awkward time that was. We were staying at a resort and water park in Phoenix. While everyone else was out enjoying the luxuries of life, I was holed away in an air conditioned room with the curtains closed tightly so that I wouldn’t be distracted by their wonderland.  …and now four years later, here I am: Matt Smith, MBA. And now I have time to enjoy the watching the Olympics with my little family.

What has really fascinated me about the Olympics this year is that I am watching athletes at their finest. As an adult, “working out” is what you do when you want to lose weight and look hot. Very rarely is it about health. Or, if you are one in a million, you get to be an adult and a professional athlete. There you have the glory, fortune, and lifestyle. As much as I enjoy watching those professional sports, it’s an unsatisfying thought to know that he’s rewarded $200,000 for every game that he dribbles a ball up and down the court for four quarters. I sit on my couch for those four quarters and I don’t get paid anything.  But in the Olympics, the context of professional sports is stripped away. Team USA men’s basketball feels more pure than an NBA playoff game. Same guys, different context.

But the Olympics are special because the spotlight shines on those who don’t get massive multi-year salaries and even bigger endorsement deals. Gymnastics, swimming, track and field. I love that people train so hard for so long just to run 100 meters. Then they’re done. No second chance until the next Olympics.

These athletes fascinate me.

And now it’s time to board the plane.