Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The 2012 Olympics or a Meditation on How Inflexible I Am


If you own a tv, read a newspaper or have access to a computer, then you’ll have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now. Yay, pride for your country. Yay, look at all the hot bodies – whoops. Yay, nationalism! (drooooool, swimmers and gymnasts). Go USA! (don’t think inappropriate thoughts about people younger than you! *smack*)

I love watching the different events, especially with my kids. We talk about the different things the athletes might do to prepare. Baz and Belle wonder if they can learn to do any of the gymnastics moves in their martial arts classes (they can both do the splits already). We cheer on the swimmers(no matter that the race happened a good six hours ago). The kids want me to try doing the splits. Yikes, look how out of shape I am. This is in no way attractive.

I have always been a fairly active person. I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys and my mother ran a day care out of our house – nice, quiet moments to myself were hard to find when I was younger. I didn’t care – it was great. It’s a childhood setting I wish for my own kids. We lived in a small but expansive neighborhood where I could ride my bike all over without worry – no one offered me candy to get into a van. I walked to school from kindergarten to senior year – not once kidnapped. I played sports all throughout middle and high school and continued to take gym class – never propositioned by a coach. I worked out in the school’s weight room with the other boys and random girls who also liked to exercise – never asked out by a lesbian. It’s a world only a Republican can dream of – except with multi-national people. Whoops.

Then I graduated high school and started college, moved out on my own and started really working (and really drinking/partying). Full-time job with full-time college hours, late nights studying and hanging out with friends completely took away any exercise time. I eventually moved away and while adjusting to a new city, I was working two jobs and taking a half schedule of classes. Marriage and kids and work and before I know it, not only have I not exercised on a regular basis for a good ten years, I have the forty pounds or so to prove it. Not to mention a false feeling of thinking my body is still 18. Yea, it’s not.

Funny story – when my daughter was 9 months old, I was invited to play a game on my company softball team. I was so excited – I grabbed all of my equipment that I’d kept and laced up my cleats. I felt fine during a light practice and warming up, but on my first at-bat, I pulled a muscle running to first. In my mind, I was shocked. “F*ck, I’m old,” I thought to myself. Well, oldER anyway. Out of shape as well.

The Olympics have been like a wonderful daydream. Watching all of these awesome athletes push their bodies to the limit doing something they love. They make it look so easy, I can just imagine doing it myself. It takes me away from the realism of how I can hardly swim one lap in a competition-size pool or how I mostly walked my first 5K. Ah, reality. The bitter slap in the face we all need sometimes.

Best of all, the Olympics can be motivating, too. Where are my running shoes? This fatty’s on the move.

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