I can remember one night of watching in particular, where a very young-looking girl did an incredible job, earning her a near-perfect score. The crowd went wild, and people began throwing roses and teddy bears onto the ice for her, chanting her name and cheering. She shrieked in excitement, got teary-eyed, waved at the crowd, and then quickly skated back over to her little dugout (or whatever the iceskating equivalent is).
Before she could step off of the ice, though, her coach stopped her and turned her back around. She gestured towards the dramatic, cheerful scene unfolding and whispered something to her. I'm not sure what all she said, but the camera got close enough to make out the words, "Look around at all of this. It's all for you."
As the girl turned to really take it in, she collapsed into her coach's arms and began sobbing. The crowd continued cheering even more, and even though I was just a little girl, I cried, too. It was such a beautiful scene, watching someone achieve what they had worked so hard for. Hearing the crowd chant her name in a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
That scene has stuck with me. Every now and then I think of it, and it gives me goosebumps. Sometimes it even makes me cry again, so many years later. Because it reminds me so much of life. How we can sometimes just rush through our days, giving everything a quick once-over before moving onto the next thing. How we sometimes let huge successes in our lives slip by unnoticed, because we still have so much else to do. How we turn our backs on incredible beauty and gifts-the sunrise and laughter and summertime and good music-the entire universe cheering us on, chanting our names, throwing roses at our feet-because we've forgotten it's all for us.
Look around. Stop and take in how breathtaking the sunrise can be. Close your eyes and soak in the way the wind feels against your skin. Throw your head back and laugh with abandonment when you feel joyful. Literally stop and smell the roses. Celebrate your successes. Appreciate the feeling of the grass under your feet. Take a day off and hang out by the pool and enjoy how good life truly is. Your life. The one full of beautiful things that you are currently living in.
Look around, it's all for you.