Gold Medal Moments

You don’t have to make the podium to have your own gold medal moment.

In the September 2011 issue of Runners World, John Bingham wrote an article called Gold Medal Moments. In this article he made such a great point that I wanted to share it with you, although I made a few changes of my own.

During a seminar, a runner in the audience asked Frank Shorter about his Olympic performances. Shorter is a two-time Olympian marathon medalist from the 70’s. The man in the audience wanted to know what it takes to get to the Olympics and how he was able to fully seize the opportunity. Rather than describe the racing perspective of an elite, Shorter explained matter-of-fact that there are gold-medal performances happening at every level of running, at every pace and at every event, every weekend.

The single father of three children who decides to take on a Marathon must learn to balance his dreams with the needs of not only his family but also a full time job which is much more than an elite athlete is asked to do. On event day after months of training, he’ll have his own gold-medal performance by racing his hardest and trying to achieve a personal best.

The out of shape executive who resolves to change her diet and lose weight for her first GranFondo understands the discipline it takes for any athlete to get across the finish line. And when she does so, her sense of accomplishment is as strong as an Olympic athlete who just won gold.

The middle-aged man who quits smoking and starts riding with his local cycling club needs the courage of an Olympian to stick to a healthier lifestyle rather than revert to old ways.


Only in endurance sports does each race or event bring every ability level, either fast and slow, together to share in one common goal; to stand on the start line prepared to test our strength, courage and spirit. It is true that the glamour of sports is only awarded to the athletes at the front of the pack, but the glory can belong to any one of us; regardless of whether we’ve stood on top of the podium. If you are able to face your fears and push your limitations to overcome every obstacle to achieve your dream; you will emerge victorious. And just like Frank Shorter, you too can have your gold-medal moment.

Keep on riding!

Kristina Bangma is a coach, personal trainer and writer with a love of riding and racing. Email questions to


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