Sunday, August 17, 2008

shanghai'd by the olympics

I love the Olympics. The amazing feats of sheer athleticism, the inspiration of all-out efforts, the grimaces as the athletes pull out all stops to attain a shiny metal disc and a moment of glory on a stand. I love the drama of the background stories that the media puts together, I love laughing at the obscure sports (and often giving them grudging respect after watching them), I love feeling the pain of the losers, I love the whole thing. What red-blooded human being doesn't love the Olympics, honestly? I think we all have at least one competitive bone in our body to which the Olympics make their siren call.

So the Olympics, as you might have guessed, have totally shanghai'd my last week and a half. Since we don't have cable, I'm stuck to whatever broadcast offers in the evenings, so don't picture me ignoring the kids and hubby all day and night while I keep up with all the events. No. And I still do have a lot I'm doing during the day, but the nights. I normally shut down around 10pm, don't function too well after that. Well, more than a few nights the past 10 days I am still cheering on the American swim team (wasn't that men's relay AWESOME?!!! Phelps rocks the casbah!!!) and the women's gymnastics and the volleyball and the marathon, and now track and field! I groan when I set my alarm as I crash in bed at midnight, but I still do it, more nights than not. I mean, it only comes around every four years.

I didn't think they'd suck me in so bad this summer. But my change in work schedule just prior to August gives me a little more time freedom, and then my parents invited us up to Sedona last weekend so the addiction started on Friday the 8th as we watched the opening ceremony stuff and then hours on Saturday watching the women's weightlifting and the dramatic beach volleyball matches, and I was hooked. Let's be honest, though. The addiction started back in the 80's watching my first memorable Olympics on our neighbor's borrowed TV (we didn't have one when I was growing up!). I joined the hordes of little girls that dreamed of being the next Mary Lou Retton, among other heros that paraded before our impressionable, hero-seeking eyes.

So that, in a nutshell, is where I've been the past 10 days. I have eaten, and worked, and slept. Have had to nap in the afternoon with the kids, for goodness' sakes, to keep this up! I mean, my own marathon training is taking it out of me too, I had a gnarly 16-miler at South Mountain this weekend, and got another ugly 20-miler coming up next weekend (they're all ugly after about 15, I start just slogging away about then). And I still visited my Grandma last week, and took the kids to a picnic lunch at Squaw Peak on one of the cooler mornings, and got surprised at my own birthday party (!), and went to Bible study and shopping and the rest of life kinda went on as usual. I'm not dropping out of existence, but I am wondering when I will get to bed early again.

You'll probably still find me in front of the Olympics again tonight.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that at some point, Jude and Audrey and Vic will all present you with a gold medal from the Mom Olympics. :) - Love, your admiring sis Pin

Laura said...

Thank you, Pin! Unfortunately, even gold medals in Mom Olympics don't mean they won't spend time on a therapists couch with mom issues one day, but God-willing they'll be parents themselves and realize, like me, that it's just part of the circle of life. We do the best we can, and our human-ness reminds us which Parent we really need to depend on. If that's all they learn, I'll be happy!