Olympic talent

It’s Olympic season and we’ve been watching world-class athletes. There are more sports than we can remember that are competing in a competition of the world right now.

I don’t know how to do the things these athletes can do. But as I watch and listen to the commentators giving critiques on their performance, I begin to see that the position of the parts of their body seems to affect the outcome.

I might root for them, yelling at the TV “Keep your back straight! Watch the feet! THE FEET!”

As if they have not spent thousands of hours learning how to do the amazing things that brought them to this pinnacle of athleticism.

Who am I to tell them to do better?

Of course I remember when I was younger, or in better shape, and could enjoy the feeling of my body being strong, quick and flexible.

I admire them, and am awed by what they can do. I have a vague idea of how hard they had to work to get there. I know I will never be what these elites have become.

And sometimes I listen to the commentators critiquing and myself judging what they are doing and think, who are we to be so critical?

Have we done the work?

It’s exciting though, to watch. My daughter was bouncing out of her seat as we were eating lunch at a restaurant and the Olympics were playing. Ski jumps.

We were fascinated.

Chris said, “It reminds me of Eddie the Eagle. Do you know who that is?”

He was famous in his time. As a citizen of the U.K. he wanted to be an Olympic athlete, and though he could ski, he didn’t qualify.

One thing the British Isles does not have is tall mountains.

Eddie learned that there was no British ski jumping team for the 1988 Olympics, so he put himself forward as the contestant.

He was not that good, but he showed up. And he got in.

And as I watch these Olympics and feel inspired I can realistically know that sometimes my super power is in showing up.

I can show up and give it a good go.

That’s often what is needed most.

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