It should be relatively apparent to anyone who knows me and reads The Gypsy that you seldom see posts relating to great physical activities. And certainly not doing them with a heck of a lot of skill.
I am not the one to bungee jump, my idea of fun on a snow day is hunkering down with art supplies, a good book and a full fridge, and you will never find me racing anything. I'm just not competitive in that way (or in most ways, for that matter).
Having said that, I have loved watching every minute of the Olympics and am having a bit of withdrawal issues.
I don't understand why I love the Winter Olympics. Even knowing the back story of Vancouver's mania to spin things a certain way (see Joyce's fabulous post on behind-the-scenes in Vancouver; you may have to scroll down a post or two, but it's worth it), I found myself adjusting my schedule to catch Olympic action.
I stay up late. I have favorites.
I am close to tears as I watch courageous athletes triumph over their deepest losses...
And I join along when the winners are so overcome, the joy is without compare.
I am in awe of those who do things that make my stomach turn, just watching.
I admire those who pick themselves up and just do it, even when injured or working in pain.
And those who triumph over their past demons to win and win again.
But mostly, I just want to see the most amazing athletes win and applaud those with the dedication just to make it that far.
And when their story is inspiring, tells of challenges or devotion or family support, I am as sucked in as the rest of the world. Call me a sap; it's true.
I suppose one reason is that lots of us have done Olympic sports from childhood. Although, I will say that most of my "sports" were better suited to the Summer Olympics!
True, you've seen this photo. Back when winter was fun. I was not a skeleton or luge athlete in training. To me, skeletons meant Halloween and luge -- who knows? I was just a kid.
My cousin David and seemed to be into team sports. Rowing, for example...
And I think he had great potential as a shot putter.
Even then, you see me with reading material!
I skated till I broke my arm at the ripe old age of nine. I never wanted to skate again (but I did learn to use my right hand to write, which came in handy when I had my shoulder surgery last year.)
My greatest athletic achievement was swimming across our lake -- about a half-mile or so. And holding my own on water skis.
And I could do a pretty mean hula hoop when I was nine.
And yes, I even rode a bicycle -- those races down Sunset Lane. I was in the bikini division then. It wasn't quite the last time I rode a bike. It may have been the last time I wore a bikini.
That was then. This is now.
Rick approaches his bicycling with athletic dedication.
And he's turned me into a fabulous spectaor, enjoying Versus bike ride coverage (coming soon!) and watching him speed past me (my heart a bit in my throat as he does until I see him safe off the bike).
But it's not my sport.
I sat through Kevin's football games in high school because he was playing. My heart was in my throat for those, too -- and I have to say, when he had to give up college football for an injury, I was sad for him, and relieved for us.
But it's not my sport.
In my quest to lose weight and gain better breathing capacity, I faithfully go to the gym and do my Zumba and the eliptical machine and sometimes the bike. I get sweaty. I get stronger. I hate it. But I do it. I visualize a healthier person who looks better in her clothes and breathes more easily, without wheezing and coughing. But I still hate it.
These Olympians don't hate it. They do it because they love it, like Rick and his bike.
They all deserve a gold medal for that. And really, doesn't everyone -- no matter how good or poor they are? Don't they deserve praise for doing something relentlessly, working to be their best?
I'll miss the Olympics. I'll miss these gifted athletes. I'll miss watching sports you never get to see on TV, and often never in person.
Time to go to the gym.
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