Monday, August 18, 2008

olympic hopes not dashed--yet

i don't know about you, but i've been soaking up olympic glory this past week, albeit from the confines of my comfy couch. i find myself engaging in the thrills and agonies of the contests, crying with those who get beat by that .0l second margin and cheering with those who win medals and break records. the looks on the faces of the winners--such ecstasy and pure happiness, if even for a moment, is exciting to watch. oh, and when our national anthem plays? foggettabout it, it's like a hollywood rain machine gets turned on in my eyes.

while i love the passion and excitement of the games, i also find myself feeling a little wistful, a little bit depressed when i watch them. i love watching athletes, who are in prime shape, young with so much of their lives ahead of them and so darned good at what they do. but from my vantage point (the couch and about 15-20 years older than most of the competitors), it's easy to feel like, well a loser.

growing up i had some olympic hopes of my own and, apparently, some good genes that may have enabled me to fulfill them. my father was a phenomenal athlete, performing just off olympic level in track and field. i played many sports growing up and found that most came pretty easily. i trained to try out for volleyball in college but decided to walk on to the basketball team.

as a pre-teen t i had tasted a bit of olympic glory in watching the '84 summer games held in LA. i wanted more. partly due to my dad and partly due to the wild popularity of long distance runner and american track legend mary decker slaney, i decided that i wanted to be a runner. i could just see myself standing on the medal stand, with a medal around my neck!

well, that didn't happen. life got busy, my running morphed into playing other sports and doing school and time passed. a lot of time. while, as i said above, i did play basketball in college, i only played for 2 years (much to my dad's chagrin), because the sport consumed my life, and i could see that, lacking pro-level skills, it held little future for me. besides, playing pro at that time (the 90s, before the wnba) meant moving to europe. it just wasn't practical.

so, back to watching the olympics. i'll continue to cheer and cry and boo and hope--with and for our athletes. and then i'll get up off the couch and do what the rest of you are doing, going about life, in all its agonies, glory, pain and ecstacy. but sometimes i might dream, just a little about winning olympic gold myself. toward that end i've, researched some, ahem, sports that i may be able to train for, even in my antiquated state.

check out the best options i've found.

i'm not much of a hot dog eater, but i do practice bikram yoga weekly. hmmm...

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