“Sage: A profoundly wise person”-Dictionary.com
I doubt that Sage Kotsenburg, the 20 year old Gold medal-winning snowboarder from Park City, Utah thinks of himself as a sage but he did provide many life lessons in his stunning victory.
According to an article written by Mike Wise of the Washington Post, Sage had earned zero victories from the age of eleven until he qualified for the U.S. Olympic team this year. This alone demonstrates an awesome lesson in persistence and commitment to his dream. Would you persist for nine years when you had not had a single victory? In a competetive sport where no one ever remembers who finished second?
The short story of his Gold-medal is that he won the Slopestyle Snow-Boarding competition at the Sochi Olympics on the merits of an excellent performance that was topped off by completing a trick called the “Back 1620 Japan.” You need to have some understanding of geometry to even comprehend what this means because the 1620 represents how many rotations he did in the air before landing. I get seriously dizzy just thinking about it!
The most mind-blowing part of this successful trick is that Sage had never before attempted it. Not even in practice! Most athletes practice their routines over and over and over until they perfect it in practice before they even consider doing it in the event.
Sage had an inspiration in his gut to do it. Then he chose to ignore the ineviatble doubts and fears (what if I can’t do it?) and he took a huge risk. And he won. This 20-year old who had not won an event since he was eleven, won THE event against the best in the world because he chose to take a risk. No guts no glory. Right?
In his case no gut no glory. He trusted his gut. I know most of the time when I trust my gut, it works out for the best and when I don’t I often wish I had….how about you?
He took the approach of what do I have to lose? Too often in life people miss out on the fruit they can reach becasue they are afraid to go out on the branch. Most of the time our branches aren’t nearly as high as Sage’s was. Take the risk in life. You never regret trying, but you always wonder what if when you don’t.
Kudos as well to to Sage’s coach and his brother. When he told his coach what he was going to do, instead of him saying “you shouldn’t do that, you could fall and and have no chance at winning,” or “you’ve never done that before.” He said “It’s the olympics, you might as well go all out.” Beautiful! Everyday is YOUR Olypmics…you might as well go all out!
Sage called his brother Blaze 3 minutes before his run down the mountain…3 minutes! Shouldn’t he have been freaking out about his event instead of on the phone? Nope…he had prpeared, no point in freaking out. Time to let it fly and trust your hard work.
When he told his brother what he was going to do, his brother said “You got this.” What an awesome response. He told him three words that screamed BELIEF and ENCOURAGEMENT.
Sage knows who his encourager is, and he goes there. Always go to your encouragers…there’s always lots of reasons why not to do something…but you only need ONE reason why to.
You could take all the lessons of this Sage and his accomplishment and apply them to your endeavors right now. And you too can win Gold.