Power words propel Canadian rowers to silver

power words
When you have a moment that counts, can you boil everything down to one or two words? It’s a strategy that worked for our Silver Medal winning Lightweight Women’s Double, Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee of Victoria, BC.  “It truly was all we had. I pretty much petered out for the last two strokes,” said Jennerich. “I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”

Needless to say, both athletes achieved their personal goals at this games. The thrill became undeniable when their internal goal achievement was matched with the external recognition of the silver medal. I choked back tears when I saw both athletes in full emotion at the finish line.

In the end, both women got what they came for. “I felt like a machine and Obee felt like a machine,” said Jennerich. “There’s people that maybe have Olympic gold medals right now, but I don’t know if they would have feel the connection that Lindsay and I feel,” said Obee.

In their partnership, both athletes had immense expectations and responsibilities. Their power words were a small tool to help them deliver a top performance. I’ve put together a strategy for you to find your own power words.

Be yourself. A key factor in Obee’s and Jennerich’s victory was their freedom to be themselves. They could express their thoughts, emotions and feelings without fear of judgement from each other or from their coach, Tom Morris. “He never judges us for our low moments,” said Obee. “He helps us be the best form of ourselves.” When you feel safe in your authenticity, you will get a word that means more.

Build it out. Before you can find your power word you need to get as much as you can out of your head. Write in your diary. Type on your computer. Jennerich and Obee had a blog where they wrote out their thoughts on their Olympic journey, and explained their social media hashtag #DirtyDouble “We aren’t afraid to get dirty and settle disputes with a physical battle,” wrote Obee. (www.obeeandjennerich.com)

Access the idea with the strongest emotions. Sort through your information and focus on the ideas that give you the biggest charge. Pick the best idea.  Jennerich knew she could not control how her competition performed, but she could control how she attacked her race. “Really, I just wanted to leave this day being at peace, and being at peace means having no regrets,” said Jennerich.

Pick the word(s). It could be “Tunnel”, it could be “No regrets” or it could even be “Pickles”. The word can look ridiculous to others but have deep meaning to you. Pick the word that charges the deepest parts of your being.

Post it somewhere special. Morris wrote the works on duct tape, and put the tape on the soon-to-be Silver Medalist’s foot stretchers. It was a special, secret motivation for both women that they didn’t share with anyone until after the race. When you keep the power words away from others’ judging eyes, your power words stay special.

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