This past week, Dear Reader, I have reverted to the 8 year old little girl who I had no idea was still alive and well inside of me. The trigger? Well, it only took about 3 notes of the Olympic trumpet and drum music to catapult me back in time to when I was on my parents couch circa 1984, holding my Olympic-themed water glass and cheering on the athletes.
I don’t know what it is. It’s not like I wake up on Saturdays and think, ‘You know what? I’m in the mood for some men’s synchronized diving!’ I don’t surf through CNN, looking for pole-vaulting or rowing, and I sure as heck don’t wonder if there is a local pick-up game of water polo going on at the Y.
Yet, those are exactly the things that have me eschewing my quickly-approaching deadline, glued to the TV from 8-midnight each night. I’ve become an armchair critic (HOW could you have missed that landing?? Geez!), an unrepentant sob-story addict (Grenada’s first Olympic medal ever?! *sniffle, sob*), and the ultimate lover of good sportsmanship and class (I’m looking at you, Sam Mikulak!)
I’ve bonded with these athletes, glorying in their triumphs and suffering with their losses. It makes me want to be a better person, to put a greater effort into everything I do. This ole body of mine is never going to see an Olympic arena, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t up the game in the things I am good at. Gymnastics? That ship has totally sailed. Diving? I’m waaay to chicken to do mid-air flips. But writing? THERE is something I can do better. I can throw myself into it with the discipline and tenacity that these inspiring athletes have perfected in their journey to London.
No matter what we do, we can apply the Olympic spirit in an effort to live a better life. These men and women are an inspiration, positive role models who we can all look up to. In an era of the media offering up the Kardashians and Snooki as celebrities, the Olympians have provided something else all together. I hope that a new generation of children has been inspired to achieve, and that the spirit will live on in the days, weeks and years following the conclusion of the Games.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get another box of tissues for the coming medal ceremony :-)
So tell me, have you caught Olympic fever this time around? What’s your favorite event?