Was he hurting after all these races? Was his body marginally slowing down because the muscle tissue has been stretched and torn and worked to the max of endurance?
But clearly it didn't stop him. As the other swimmer glided in for his gold medal, Phelps (at the top of picture) took that extra stroke and touched the wall 1/100th of a second faster than the man who looked certain to win the race at that point. Do you think that guy will be watching videos over and over and kicking himself for not pushing that extra 1/100th out?
Friends, as writers, we must push for that extra 1/100th. Even when we feel beat up and bruised and so tired we think it'd be nice to curl up in a ball for a while. Push it out and write your pants off; because so much hangs on that extra effort, doesn't it?
I'm inspired. Phelps may have the perfect swimmer's body, may have the conditioning and genetics to be a champion, may have the best coach and the best of everything — but I'm not sure any of that would carry him to 7, possibly 8, gold medals if he didn't have the one thing that nobody can give him: drive. He refuses to lose. He simply refuses to accept anything less than the best from himself.
It's something to remember as I sit in front of my computer and contemplate today's goals.
*(Photo from the BBC)