I love the Olympics, especially the summer games. During the next couple weeks, I’ll be watching as much coverage as possible — swimming, gymnastics, diving, cycling, running, rowing, soccer, volleyball, etc — I’ll watch them all. And while I love the comraderie aspect of the Olympics — the idea that people from all over the world can come together and celebrate greatness, despite negative world events — what inspires me the most is the dedication these incredible athletes have. These men, women and teens are the best of the best, and that doesn’t happen by accident.

Just think about it, the thousands of athletes in Rio right now represent the best of the best in their given sport. Sure, there may be 50 or so people competiting in a given swimming event during the preliminary heats, but out of those 50 people, only a few share the event with a teammate from their host country. To be the best at something in your home country is mind boggling to me — I don’t think I’ve ever felt good enough at anything to even consider being the best in all of the U.S. I’m in awe of these people. They continually push themselves to be better than they were. They put forth effort and dedication that I can’t match — they have incredible will power that I wish I could emulate.

And when they do the best they can, they celebrate, even if it means they didn’t win. In most cases, coming in second or third or even fourth in a race would be disappointing. And sure, it IS disappointing for the Olympic athletes. But, I’ve watched more than one person shout for joy for coming in third and earning a bronze. Being the third-best in the world is still something to cheer about! Heck, even being last in a race, putting you eighth, means you are the eighth-best person in the world!

Watching the Olympics has inspired me to put more effort into my own physical wellness. Due to moving, I’ve put exercise and general activity (aside from moving and unpacking boxes) on the back burner. But, watching these elite athletes has made me want to get back into running, jump in the pool, ride my bike, and strive for excellence in everything I do. I hope some of you take the opportunity to renew your focus on your goals, whatever they may be.

Kira Cox

Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.

I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.

When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.

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