photo by Jeff Farsai
It’s a dream that anyone who has ever fallen in love with a sport has most likely contemplated at one point or another. For some athletes, representing their country at the Games is a measure of knowing they’ve made it. Olympic silver medalist and Fashion Island ambassador Jaime Komer, talks about life after the Olympics – a life she hadn’t ever planned for.
dreaming the dream
I competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and earned a silver medal with the USA Women's water polo team. Achieving something like this was a "hmm, imagine if..." question ever since I fell in love with the sport. My passion for water polo pushed me beyond my perceived limits, introduced me to some of the most inspiring individuals I've ever met, took me on adventures around the globe and allowed me to truly understand the concept of “I can and I will.”
The idea of setting audacious and slightly (or very!) intimidating goals is what got me where I am today. I attribute much of my success to the daily, monthly and yearly goals I set pre-Olympics. Breaking down the work I knew I had to do into goals, helped me through the tough journey I knew was ahead.
to the olympics and beyond
Oddly enough, the hardest part was actually after the games. Here’s the thing, when you’re training for the Olympics you dedicate your whole life to the sport. You’ve got your sights set on making one goal happen and everything else (and everyone else) gets put on hold. (This is the part where I thank my husband and family for their understanding while I continually missed birthdays, anniversaries and, almost, my own brother's wedding!). The last thing on your mind is, "Soooo, what am I going to do with myself after this?"
the dream after the olympic one
I've heard many stories about athletes experiencing post-Olympic depression once they stop competing in their respective sport. It’s all you know for the longest time and in a way, it has defined you as a person. It can be difficult to move on and dare to open yourself up to a new dream. How will anything top the act of going to the Olympic Games? Some will say that nothing can.
I am excited to say I am taking a different perspective. I realized that creating big ol' freakishly awesome (yet thoroughly audacious) goals didn’t have to stop there. Have I given everything I can to the world, my community, my family, my legacy? Certainly not! It wasn’t until I could cross off my Olympic goals that I could start to realize what else was out there for me and a world of possibility opened up.
Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a seasoned goal setter, the feeling of “what’s next?” is a familiar and sometimes scary one. Ever had your sights set on one thing for so long, you didn’t know what to do after?