Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympic thoughts

I'm following the Olympics. Is it bad to root for other countries? I catch myself rooting for individuals. For example: Swimmers, yes, I root for Michael Phelps as I enjoy watching Tiger Woods. But I found in the race without MP, I rooted for the Korean boy who fell into the water four years ago and was disqualified. Only to return this time and take the first ever gold medal in swimming for Korea. The second place winner of that race won the first ever medal in swimming for his country. So I was very happy to see the American take third place...we win medals all the time. I suppose this is unpatriotic. I also suppose it is hard on the American who spent a lifetime preparing for his shot at gold an only got a bronze medal. Still, how can you not enjoy the other countries and their stories? How can you not root for them as well?

Something else... Ms. Torres...age 41 with a well trained body...don't look through my television set and tell me that anyone is capable of being middle aged and doing what you are doing. That puts too much pressure of those of us not living a lifetime of training. There is no way I could spend ten hours a day training and race the way you do. To begin with I'd have to learn how to do a swimmer's flip. I'd have to figure out how to perfect the strokes- things you've had thirty five years to perfect. My body isn't your body. My brain is not your brain. Ugh. Nothing worse than seeing another impossible ideal grinning on the television telling me that if I only worked hard enough I could achieve the same thing. It's a falsehood meant to sell gym memberships and diet products. Everyone of us is limited by our own personal choices, background, environment and physical limitations. The honest truth is not every dream can be reached. Don't get me wrong- I believe that if you have a dream or a talent you should pursue it. But everyone is different. There are thousands of other well toned, well trained swimmers out there who never made the Olympics... telling us we can all do it just shoves their faces in reality. Stop it. Better to say you are lucky-you work hard-but luck has a lot to do with it as well.

Those who say, "Dream big or go home" are missing the point. A dream no matter how small is there to play with...not to show off about. So, my motto is dream. Its that simple and yet that achievable for everyone...even non-Americans.

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