David Boudia & Steele Johnson are the American synchronised platform diving team who won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
In their post-dive interview the sports journalist asked them how they were able to maintain their composure so well when they were diving off a 10m high platform in their undies (I added the bit about their undies). Steele responded
“Knowing my identity is rooted in Christ not in what the result of this competition is just gave me peace.”
What an awesome response!
I guess ultimately, one of the ways to control nerves at the point of performance is to pretend that what you’re about to do doesn’t matter. That’s made all the more easy when, in context to the bigger picture, it actually doesn’t.
Contrast that with other athletes and commentators whose statements seem to infer that a person’s whole life came down to this moment. Where so much more than a win or loss was at stake. Where so much more of their identity was wrapped up in the outcome of their performance or in their status as an athlete.
When a person’s identity is firmly grounded in God everything shifts. When we look to performance, success, relationships, wealth or possessions for our sense of who we are we are forced to do whatever is necessary to protect and maintain those things. If who you are is a diver, then that one dive has the power to make or break you. When you know who you are in Christ, the outcome of a dive can’t define or disturb that.
It is just a dive.
Question: Is there something that you do or have that has become something that defines you rather than just something that you do or have?