18 February 2010

Olympic Size Dreams

Mood: Tired (this week has lasted somewhere near a month now)

What I'm Watching: The Olympics baby! (The sport, the drama, Shaun White...what's not to love!)

I have a confession to make. I absolutely love the Olympics. Summer or winter doesn't matter, but every time the Olympic season rolls around my normally sport hating self suddenly becomes an avid watcher of all things Olympic. When I was younger I used to wish that I had the kind of talent that would take me to the Olympics (usually in some super artistic girlie type sport with super cute outfits like gymnastics or figure skating), but, alas, I'm not coordinated, dedicated, or athletic enough to even climb up the steps in the arenas to watch the sports, let alone participate in them.

Now that I'm older, I always think that the Olympics, with all their pagentry, grace and displays of athletic skill, are nothing more than a bittersweet moment in time. These althletes work their whole lives towards one goal...the Olympic gold. If they're lucky, they win. On that day, in that place, they are the best in the world. That's an absolutely amazing accomplishment but then what? Can anything in their lives top that moment? When your whole life has revolved around a goal and you attain that goal, how do you redefine your life?

Even worse are the many athletes who train just as long, work just as hard and want it just as bad...but who, on that day, in that place, are not among the best in the world. All of that time, effort and sacrifice culminates in the disappointing loss of their goal. If they're lucky, they may be able to continue training for the next Olympics but an athlete's career span is a short one. The human body simply cannot withstand the demands and pressures of an elite level athlete indefinitely. Then what? What happens when you've dedicated your entire life in the pursuit of a single goal and you fail to attain that goal? How do you redifine your life?

So, on reflection, I think it was probably best that I was not blessed with any sort of athletic talent. Instead, I was given a drive to write...to create worlds with my words. There's no shelf life on a writer's creativity, there's an unlimited opportunity to write, revise and write again, and  the opportunities to both succeed and fail are absolutely limitless. Now, if they could just come up with a super cute, sparkly writer outfit...

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4 comments:

  1. Oh how right you are! I think of the girl gymnasts who train from like age 3 and then they max out their potential at like age 16, 17. I mean, whoa. And then what? If they're lucky they actually made it. If they're super lucky, they took home a medal, might ride the wave of fame for a while, get their picture on the box Wheaties, but eventually, they fade away, too, only to be seen at special alumni events once they've turned into normal people who no longer train for ten hours a day.

    Geez, isn't that crazy snarky of me? I feel so meanspirited. It's just such an intense time in their lives, so intense it just can't be maintained forever--not at that level. So, yes, thank goodness for writing. That's something that only gets better with age and practice. Unless, you know, you get worse.

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  2. Um, who says you can't wear a cute sparkly outfit while you write? (And if you do, please send a picture!)

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  3. @ Wendy: Thank you so much :) *blushing*

    @Carol: I don't think it's snarky of you...I think it's realistic. :) Then again, given my tendency towards snark, I may not be the best person to judge that.

    Also? I hadn't considered the possibility that my writing could get worse. Nah. Reading over my past few pages, my suckage factor is pretty high...pretty sure I can't get much worse. Can I? Gah! Writer type panic setting in!!!

    @Anne: Hmmm...sparkly writery type outfits. I mean, it would be hard to top my current author uniform of: Sweatpants, old t-shirt and fuzzy socks but if I had a bedazzler imagine how many sparkles I could put on those fuzzy socks!

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