- 2004 world record holder in 100 and 200 m breastroke; Silver and Bronze in the Olympics
- 2008 Olympcs failed to qualify for 200 m event and was edged out to 4th place in the 100; No individual medal; although he did take home a gold as part of the relay team that won Michael Phelps is 8th medal of the games.
- QUIT swimming competively in his signature event - the breastroke .
Why did he quit? He was working his butt off (seriously did you notice how small an olympic swimmer's butt is?) and not taking home the prize. Expectations were high and it wasn't happening. The articles written would say things like frustrated or "Why am I doing this?". Although I never saw these specific words being used, in my mind it boils down to he wasn't having any fun.
So he took a step back. He refocused his energy on something else. In his case the something else was competing in triathalons, getting married and (I'm sure) finding all sorts of other fun stuff to fill his time.
In 2012 he came back to take the bronze in a race that was truly fun to watch even if you aren't me or one of my extended family members. He became only the 13th swimmer in Olympic history to win a medal after turning 30.
Although most of us are not olympic caliber athletes we do have similar struggles. Sometimes the thing we are doing - even if it is something we love - stops being fun. Whether it be athletics, our work, or just life in general. Sometimes we have to take a step back and regroup or recover. Sometimes it's not a full step back but just a mixing up a little. Adding some fun or goofiness to what we are doing.
So when it's not fun anymore don't forget to keep smiling (it's next to impossible to stay down when you smile) and keep moving (even if you have to move in a different direction for a little bit).
Think about your goals for August. How will you get there? What will you do to keep the road to yoru goal fun and interesting?