The Olympics


I'm going to be completely honest here. I don't watch very much of the Olympics. I like to keep up with what's happening, but I get really overwhelmed by the events and just watch highlight reels after the fact. With one notable and absolutely random exception.

Equestrian events.

I love watching equestrian events. I can't tell you exactly why since I definitely am not an expert on the scoring for these events. I know the basics, but no more than any other semi casual observer. But I used to ride horses and for some reason watching the jumping events in particular is a guilty pleasure. The athleticism of the horses is amazing, but I also know just barely enough about horse riding and jumping to recognize the details that the riders decide and appreciate the work that goes into their jobs as well. And man, those horses can FLY. 

Horses & Equality | Toast Design Studio

And to make this slightly more relevant to anyone that is not me, I also want to point out that historically, equestrian events have been the most accessible for women. Originally, women weren't allowed to compete in or even attend Olympic events, but by owning horses that participated in the Olympics, women were occasionally able to win Olympic games even when they were not allowed near the arenas. Now, only two events allow women and men to compete as equals: equestrian events and sailing. The horses equalize the field and allow the riders' pure skill and wit to compete head to head, and I think that's pretty cool too.


Looking back at my childhood, I remember very little of the Summer Olympics beyond the fact that Shannon Miller was from the same town as me. In my young eyes, the main event was the Winter Olympics with its figure skating and snowboarding and bobsledding and figure skating. Did I mention figure skating?

It wasn't until I was an adult and developed my own athletic pursuits that I could really appreciate the full magnitude of the Summer Olympics. Now, its myriad events serve as major inspiration in my life, not only in the realms of fitness, but through understanding the level of dedication and perseverance it takes every single athlete to achieve greatness. The extremes to which these individuals wholly devote themselves to their passions is almost unfathomable. In a year that has seen me buy my first home, launch a freelance business, and take on new challenges at my day job, there have been more than a few instances where everything has felt impossible. This year's Olympics were an incredible reminder that with enough hard work the impossible can become possible. At the end of this year's events, I'm left feeling motivated and excited for what the future has in store for us all.

Inspiration & Motivation | Toast Design Studio

There will always be challenges in life, and it's easy to talk yourself out of being great, but the next time I find myself entrenched in any level of negativity, I hope I will look to the inspiring women of this year's events and ask myself, "Would Katy Ledecky let the odds define her? Would Simone Biles give up if she was less than perfect? Would Gwen Jorgensen let a loss affect her commitment?"

What was your favorite event to watch, or your favorite moment from the 2016 Rio Olympics? As a whole, the US cleaned up at the games, winning over 50 more medals than the next highest ranking country. 61 of those medals were won in women's games. And if you're not ready to part with Olympic coverage just yet, read a little more about the US Women and their accomplishments.

Alternatively, check out these adorable photos of flying horses.