As a lifelong athlete and former off road motorcycle racer, I have always admired the enormous skill and ability that it takes to compete in any sport at an elite level. I don't know that the dedication that it takes for an athlete to perform at these levels is always appreciated, as these gifted athletes can make their endeavors look easy… almost effortless. The reality is that what these athletes are making look so easy has come at an enormous price that involves unstoppable determination and sacrifice.
In the fall of 2012, I got to work out with one of these elite athletes and experience, first hand, just how amazingly capable one of these highly trained individuals are. It was a chance meeting at the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Starbucks, where a nice older gentleman, named Dennis Lodwick, who saw me with my kids, came over and started talking with us. After about five minutes, he said, “Wait a minute,” to us and shortly returned with his son, Todd Lodwick
, who happened to be there also. He introduced us to Todd by saying, “This is my son, Todd, who won a Silver Medal in the last Olympics.” I thought, "What? No kidding!" Todd, who is just as nice of a guy as his dad, said hi to me and the kids and welcomed us to Colorado and then went and sat down.
The kids and I were stoked that we got to meet an Olympian! After about 10 minutes, we decided to leave and before we made it out the door, Todd stopped me and asked if I would like to do some cross training sometime. I, of course, said, “Yes!” and we set a time to do what Todd called Manic training
. I didn't know what Manic training was, but thought the name sounded cool and I was definitely in.
That night I did a Google search of Todd and was shocked to find out that he is the USA’ s most decorated skier ever. He's been to five Olympics, has numerous medals and now I'm going to go and cross training with this guy! Cool!
A couple of days later, I showed up at the Manic training building, headed by Graham Muir. Todd and about 12 other people in really good shape were there. Not much was said and shortly Graham warmed us up and let us have it. Manic training is cyclic training. Sprint as fast as you can. Jump, as high as you can. Lift a weight as many times as you can. All in 60 seconds intervals. Rest for 20 Seconds and do it again, for an hour nonstop. The pain this brings on is a thing of beauty. I've never worked out so hard. Todd led the way and I would follow trying to keep up. The cadence that Todd kept was nothing less than spectacular. I'm a good athlete and I just could not keep his pace!
I could certainly see why Todd has accomplished what he has. It's not just because of the natural athletic talent that he was born with, but rather I could see a greater resource, that rare human quality where somebody is willing to push their self to absolute failure, to sharpen their skill, to better their craft… somebody that is willing to train and sacrifice to fulfill the call placed on their life. I got to see that unstoppable burning drive and desire to be the best you can be... I got to see firsthand the Olympic spirit... And let me tell you, it's nothing less than magnificently impressive and deeply inspiring!
So, Todd, this song is for you my friend and all of the other Olympians in Steamboat Springs, Colorado that share that unstoppable quality that burns from within and allows you to be who you were called to be..... it allows you to live!