Go for the Goal – Elana Meyers

Go for the Goal – Elana MeyersThe 2014 Olympic winter Games open in Sochi, Russia on February 7, 2014.  Exactly one month later, following the 17 days of initial competition, the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games open for 10 days.  What better time to use Mainstay’s Go for the Goal sermon series.  As support material for our Go for the Goal series, we begin a series of stories that spotlight Winter Olympians whose Goal is to honor Jesus Christ.

Her Twitter profile reads “Christ follower, Olympic & World Champ medalist in women’s bobsled, MBA student.”  Her name is Elana Meyers, and she has her priorities in order.  But it wasn’t always like that.  There was a time when bobsledding was not her sport and Jesus Christ was not her passion.  In fact, her biography on the Beyond the Ultimate website, explains that sports in general was her all-consuming passion; especially softball, which she played in both high school and college.

Elana, who hails from Douglasville, Georgia, where this writer once lived, had become so consumed with softball in her freshman year in college that she spiraled out of control by trying to be in control of her performance, her team’s success, and her life.  In her efforts to control her playing weight, she began a cycle of starvation, bingeing and purging.  As it usually does, this preoccupation with weight and controlling it (for whatever purpose it is intended to serve), drew Elana into the bondage of what she called “a vicious addiction.”

When, after desperately seeking help, she realized that psychological programs provided only a different approach to trying to personally control things, she began to search for something entirely different and effective.  She began to read a copy of “The Purpose Driven Life” that a friend had bought for her.  During a two-hour workout on an elliptical device, she realized that she needed to yield control of her life to Christ.  She recalls that “Just as easily as I was caught up in the addiction that is an eating disorder, God removed my addiction and set me free.  It wasn’t until I found Jesus that I realized I didn’t need control and would never have it.”

In 2007 Elana took up bobsledding.  In the 2010 Olympic Winter Games she help to bring home the bronze for Team USA as the pusher on the two-woman team.  She is now preparing for the 2014 Sochi Games as the driver.  After already winning a slew of medals in the last half of the 2012-2013 season, on Friday, December 6, 2013, she and her current teammate, Aja Evens won the gold medal at the Women’s World Cup in Park City, Utah.  It was the first U.S. women’s victory since January 2011.

It looks like Elana Meyers is prepared to “Go for the Goal” in Sochi in February.  The difference now, as she says, is “I do not have to have all the answers.  I just have to trust Him.  Being an Olympian is one of the greatest achievements one can achieve in this life. Although God has allowed me to achieve much, I know it’s all to glorify His holy name, and that I am working toward a much greater accomplishment in the next life.”

To read more about Elana Meyers, go to http://beyondtheultimate.org/athlete/Elana-Meyers, or follow her on Twitter at @eamslider24.