Thoughts about the Olympics

There has never been a great athlete who died not knowing what pain is.
–Bill Bradley

Our household, like many others, is addicted to the Olympics right now. Every day, every moment, all of it. My husband loves all the different sports, all the stats. He can tell you anything you want to know about any of it, going back years.  (Oh, how I wish my memory worked like that!)  My sons love learning about all those sports out there that we, in our warm southern climate, never get to see or experience. But most of all, we love hearing the stories of defeat and the attending triumph when the athlete overcomes & surpasses him/herself. We love watching them try and try again when that triumph doesn’t come so easily.

(I am constantly compartmentalizing myself and what I think.  I don’t know if you do this, but I do.)

As a regular person, I am constantly amazed to hear about the athletes and the broken bones and torn tendons and sliced faces that they endure.  And not just once, but over and over again.  That they keep on getting up and working again, harder and faster, to be the best that they can.

As a mother of small boys, I watch and am alarmed by all the danger that these athletes put themselves in day after day.  When I applaud, I’m not just applauding the athlete, but their parents, too.  It is so hard to stand by and watch your child be injured even just once, but to endure the whole process of broken bones & broken hearts each season.  I just can’t imagine having that kind of personal strength.

As a part-time disabled person (my RA will go into remission for months at a time, only to come back full force for a month or so and then go back into remission), I am …I don’t want to say envious, because it’s not that intense of a feeling, but just so thoughtful of how strong these people are, how much physical energy they have, how much they are able to do that I can’t even dream of doing.  Not that I was ever really interested in sports growing up, but just that now, even if I wanted to be, it’s really not an option.  I mean, I spent all day yesterday doing boring, regular work at the computer and in the kitchen and today my knees are needing to be iced because they hurt that badly…from just a generic day in the life of someone with RA (although technically, I’m in a remission right now).

Anyway, we feel so inspired by the Olympics. The kids are looking around them and seeing that there are other sports they can aspire to besides the usual football and soccer.  The spouse can stretch his brain around yet another round of stats.   The time and dedication the athletes put into their sports remind me that it’s time to take a look around and see what areas of my life can use some time and dedication. We’re going to end this Olympic season like the athletes: doing our best.

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