Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Fever

(Emma on her luge....if you had asked Scott and I if she could cram her body on top of her Barbie car and slide in the living room, we would not have had the faith she had in her equipment)

We are starting out February vacation by skiing at our local hill and then watching the Olympics in the evening. It is a great combination because the kids can apply what they are seeing in the evenings to their mogul runs in the day. They really see no difference in what they are doing and what the Olympic athletes are doing:

Mom, when will New England host the Winter Olympics?
Mom, how will you decide who to watch if Emma and I are both competing on the same day?

Now I have to admit, until I was about 20, I also thought if I could just find time to train, I too could compete at the Olympic level. I dropped out of college for awhile to race on a women's cycling team, The Bluebonnet Race Team. I was good enough to be a domestique, a fancy French word that means sacrificial rider. My job was to break away from the pelotron (bunched up riders) and hopefully take some other team's top riders with me. This was great but then that spurt of energy meant that you usually finished way back. My job was never to win, but to make sure their top riders did not win either. We cycled 50-60 miles a day and worked hard to be "good enough". At the end of that racing season, I knew I wasn't good enough to train for the Olympics but I treasure that semester of miles and miles of road racing in the Texas hill country.
I want my kids to join a team, a movement, a community and train to be the best they can be. I love the Olympics and cry every day I watch them. The pursuit of excellence is it's own reward, whether you make it to the Olympics or not. I'm glad my kid's world is filled with possibilities, may it always be so.

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