Friday, August 08, 2008

When the Olympics are on...

Blogging Olympics style here. I already got all chill-bumped from Tom Brokaw's (wait, must interrupt - are our world-class athletes wearing golf hats?? what the hell are those? Kobe and LeBron and Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh - they look like Jiffy Lubers). Okay, so anyway, Tom was spelling out the drama of the Olympics in China, what with the death toll from the earthquake, human rights violations, suppressed protests, and I got all chilly. First of many moments I'm sure, for the next 17 days.

Jim and I were discussing our mutual potential for Olympic stardom. See, back in the day he was a stud wrestler. Yeah, I recoiled a little too, in the beginning, what with the leotards and cauliflower ear and all, but there are few, if any, sports requiring that level of bad-assness. They starve themselves, sweat themselves dry, grapple for hours on end (when a normal individual would peter out after three minutes - no shit, three minutes is the most pretty much anyone can take), and do it all with strange illnesses and neck and back injuries. Tough. Weird, yeah, but tougher than leather gum.

That said, Jim is no Olympic wrestler, even given the perfect storm (which in our conversation means unbending desire to be the best, fully-funded by some non-creepy benefactor, and given the best coaches), it wouldn't happen. He doesn't have that level of athleticism for that sport. But I believe he could be a world-class athlete. I do. My 5'9" 185 lb, 35-year-old retail management husband could be in the Olympics. We discussed baseball, soccer, tennis. No. Maybe badminton, ping-pong or rowing? Maybe. Possibly any of those. Or something else entirely, possibly. No, Probably!

And I stood there on the front porch, still holding the bag of chips and dip I'd picked up at the corner store, watching him. He continued watering the hosta and ferns on the side of the house. A neighbor started up a lawn mower and another neighbor reached over our back fence to pet Ali. And Jim and I shared a moment, imagining him walking into the arena with Dara Torres and Serena Williams. In my mind, it had happened. Jim was an Olympian. Or I was. Or Quinn was or Madeleine was or Peggy, back there petting Ali over the fence, was. Because for me, when the Olympics are on, disbelief and doubt are suspended. When the Olympics are on, I dream every night of what I could be or even if I were average, but still in the starting blocks next to Allyson Felix. For me, when the Olympics are on the fantastic seems possible. Probable. And I smiled and nodded to myself.

Damn. What in the world is cooler than the Olympics. What?


Blogger Bob said...

watching the olympics (which I actually do very little of) usually doesn't inspire the (deeply buried, virtually non-existant) athlete in me - but watching the bud greenspan documentaries sometimes do.

I don't know about your hubs, but I could see you whipping off your jersey in celebration of winning the olympic writing competition!

8/09/2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger Imez said...

There will now always be a parallel between that last picture, and you, in my head. And that parallel has been there for awhile, just waiting to be formed.

8/11/2008 7:55 AM  
Blogger Ortizzle said...

What is cooler than the Oympics?

Answer: All the fans.

O.K., that was the worst joke of, say, possible the decade.

I love watching the Olympics, too, especially the sports I wish I could do like gymnastics. Ah, tripping the light fantastic.

8/13/2008 10:27 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Dude. Is that you in the last photo?

Great post. I love that Olympic dreams refuse to die. Also, that 41 year old swimmer chick totally made my day.

8/19/2008 10:01 PM  
Blogger teahouse said...

Nothing, nothing!! I loved watching the Olympics!

8/30/2008 9:00 AM  

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