Dressage Stallion by fallingdominos/Flickr (Creative Commons)

1) Dressage is very zen. Seriously. Those beautiful animals go through their paces can be a form of meditation.

2) Watching the Olympics is itself a marathon. Far too many hours of coverage conflicting with work, writing, knitting and small items such as eating and sleeping. You have to pace yourself, make decisions and realize you are not going to see everything.

3) Embrace joy. Sometimes the simple act of being the part of something, not just watching, can be a prize in and of itself.

4) The greatest inspiration is not always the win, but can be grace in defeat. Liu Xiang and his departure from the field after he tore his Achilles tendon in the heats for the 110-meter hurdles will remain one of the enduring images of these games.

5) No matter what your dreams, there must be discipline and hard work in order to succeed. Write every day, learn from your mistakes and keep going.

By the closing ceremonies, I’d written 19,070 words for August on my Camp NaNoWriMo project. Discipline — and just because the Games are over, it doesn’t mean the work ends.