Sunday, February 14
So, I'm sitting here watching the Olympics and pondering what drives a person to devote their lives to perfecting something like skiing or skating. Or curling. What gets them out every morning before dawn to go practice in a frigid environment day after day? After years of that can you really be satisfied with no medal? Can 4th place ever seem like enough? Is it all about the levels of the pedestals or is there more there? I just don't know. I don't get it.
I do appreciate these people and I especially like the Winter games because there are more moments that make you go "whoa!" than the Summer games. If I were standing at the top of a ski jump knowing that I was expected to leap into the abyss ..... see I can't even craft a metaphor I'm so stressed just imagining it. But for some of them, there was a moment, when they were very young, when that scenario played in the imagination and something in their DNA said "yes!"
What did I dream of achieving? Better hair. The ability to ride a bike gracefully. Stuff like that. As I got a bit older it was more ambitious but still rather pedestrian. Publish a novel. Write a song for Bob Dylan. Single-handedly save the environment. None of which I did, of course.
It occurs to me that what holds me back more than just the simple fact of my clumsiness or suspect work ethic or lack of talent is that I cherish free time. Time to read a book. Watch a movie. Walk the dog. (Well, not the current dog. He walks me)
As a kid, I spent a lot of hours under this huge weeping willow in our back yard reading books. Nobody could see me so I was free to be lazy. That is the childhood dream that I cherish, I guess. A big tree to hide under, the Spring breeze rustling the branches, a book open on my lap and a couple of oreos in my pocket.
I could medal in that event. Gold, baby.