I’ve always been a fan of Olympic gymnastics since I was a little girl. I’m consistently impressed by the gymnasts’ skill, dedication, and incredible power. Now that I’m older, I’m even more amazed that the women gymnasts in particular are all teenagers who devote the majority of their lives to their passion and their sport.
As I was watching their routines last night, I got to thinking. Gymnastics is a lot like budgeting.
Now, before you think I should step away from the blog and get a life already, hear me out! I think you’ll find a lot of similarities too…
1. You Have To Be Flexible
Gymnasts are some of the most flexible athletes around. They can bend and contort in ways that I cannot even fathom. If they mess up or have a blip, they seamlessly move into the next step as if their mistake never happened. Most importantly, they are willing to push themselves and their physical limits to the absolutely maximum. Much like the gymnasts, budgeting also requires flexibility. Your finances have to have some give, lest you’d be living paycheck to paycheck. One month might be better than another. The point is to keep moving, improving, and much like the athletes, pushing yourself to the limit.
2. When You Fall Down, You Have To Get Back Up
I always cringe when gymnasts fall off of the balance beam. I mean, they only have 4 inches to work with and then they go doing back flips and all sorts of other moves where they practically have their eyes closed. Many of them do fall off, and even though it rattles them, they always hop back on the beam. Budgeting is similar. No one is perfect. Sometimes we spend more than we make. Sometimes we want an item badly and don’t want to save for it first. Mistakes are inevitable. Yet, when we make those mistakes, it’s important to acknowledge them. Our “points” (credit score) might be affected, but we just need to jump back on the
horse beam and keep going.
3. Getting There Takes Extreme Dedication
Seeing as there are millions of gymnasts in the world and only a few actually make it to the Olympics, we all know it takes extreme dedication. The women on the team talk about moving away from their families, missing out on regular high school experiences, and being in the gym on Christmas day. And yet, when they are standing on the podium getting a gold medal, none of that really matters. I think that’s how I’ll feel when I finally pay off all my credit cards, when my budget works, when my emergency fund is full, and my vacation that I’ve been saving for is booked. It takes a lot of sacrifice to budget correctly, but the end result is so worth it.
4. It’s A Team Effort
The USA gymnastics team won gold medals last night because of a team effort, because they worked hard together and had coaches who pushed them. Budgeting is the same. You and your significant other have to be on the same page. You have to want the same things. You have to be each other’s coach. If just one of you makes a mistake, you could lose the gold. But together….you can win it all!
So what do you think? Any other similarities between budgeting and the Olympics? What’s your favorite Olympic sport? Random side note: I told my logo designer that I loved the swirly Olympic logo. It helped inspire mine.