If you’ve hung around here at all, you’ll not be surprised that we don’t watch much television. But this week, um. Much television. And I have learned a few things about myself by watching the London Olympic games.
(Got this from Google. Probably I should be paying the IOC for use of it or something. Let’s just call me an unofficial sponsor.)
I am SO not competitive. There is no joy in me that stems from counting points. (Unless it’s Scrabble or something that reflects my braininess.) I do not love the idea of one winner and the rest of the world is losers. Can’t we all be winners? (I know. I’m just saying.)
I feel sick to my stomach when something horrible (a fall, a slip, a misstep, an unreached expectation) happens to any one of the competitors. That first day, when I saw that 155 mile bike ride and they showed the pile-up after a crash? I gasped out loud. I wanted to run to England (theoretically) and help pick up those guys and their bikes. And watching the US men’s gymnastics? Oh, don’t even. Out loud groaning. Lots of it. And I wanted to hug them. All.
I feel so, so sorry for the fourth place winners. I mean, seriously? YOU’RE THE FOURTH BEST IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. THE WHOLE, ENTIRE WORLD. You are not a loser. You are amazing, and you have done something that seven billion of us can only dream about. You should feel proud, under there somewhere. I hope you do.
I seriously want to injure mean commentators. Especially, somehow, the woman who announces synchronized diving. I mean, really? Lady. Those guys just leapt off a huge, high platform and spun in ALMOST EXACTLY the same manner, then entered the water HEAD FIRST, and you’re going to find disparities in their ANGLES? I couldn’t do a flip off one of those high platforms if the lives of all my children depended on it. (I’d try, of course, but I wouldn’t bet on my own success is all I’m saying.)
I must be blind. Unless the athlete actually falls over or his arms come off, I can’t see the mistakes. I’m just amazed at what those bodies can do.
Perfection is a mystery to me. See above. I’ve never been perfect at anything, anything EVER in my life. I can’t even comprehend what that whole world must be like. When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of Nadia Comaneci. I did many reports on her, and I even remember learning that her floor routine was danced to “Yes, Sir, That’s my Baby.” (Why? Why, brain? Why are these the things you hold on to?) She was the first person to earn a perfect score (10, then), and in the 1976 Olympics, she got 7 tens. (I had to look that up. I was only three. I didn’t watch it, as far as I recall.) My little world is so subjective that the idea of perfection, measurable, markable perfection is unfathomable. (Do you hear SpaceDad from Megamind in your head every time you read that word? “Unfathomable.” *sigh* I Love that show.)
Body image. And advertising. They’re linked and strange and bizarre. There’s a bodybuilder/weightlifter from the US called Sarah Robles. HERE is her blog: Pretty Strong. She’s a great lifter — the strongest (man or woman) in the US. Lots of olympians get $$$ ad contracts, but it doesn’t look like Sarah is getting a bunch of offers. Or any at all.
(I got this image from Strollerderby.com, but it’s also on Sarah’s blog, only smaller. I wanted you to be able to see it.)
I’ve read several articles about Sister Sarah, and many of them mention that she’s living in poverty, some giving numbers ($400/week? Really??) — because unlike many of her fellow athletes, she’s not being wooed for any advertising endorsements. Does that sicken your heart? Is she not awesome enough to advertise something? Do we only buy products because they’re going to make us look like the hot models that sell them to us in magazines and on TV? Hey, Advertisers: Strong is Beautiful. I’d buy it if Sarah helped you sell it. (You know, within reason.) (She competes on the 5th. I’ll be watching if Bob Costas puts her on NBC.) [** UPDATE: An online company has entered an endorsement contract. But NARY an athletic outfitter... Come on, guys. Step up. **]
I remember training (“training”) at swim team practice in my tween years. I think the IM is the hardest (physical) thing I’ve ever consistently tried to do. Including childbirth. And I tried the IM (not in competition — my Butterfly was [and remains] an embarrassment) more times than I tried to deliver babies. But wow. That’s hard stuff those people are doing there in that pool. The hardness of it almost allows me to ignore the fact that THERE ARE LIKE DOZENS OF OTHER EVENTS HAPPENING THAT WE ARE NOT SEEING ON PRIMETIME NBC TELEVISION.
I want to go to London. This isn’t really something I learned this week. But I’m remembering it. Again and again.
How about you? Are you learning anything about yourself while you watch? (Are you even watching?)