I am spending so much time admiring the olympians that I’m not writing. Along with the joy of watching such high quality talent, and the sadness of watching the stumbles, thrown riders, crashing dismounts, and stupid rules, I am awed by how these athletes ignore pain. Or overcame injuries and obstacles to reach this critical contest.
It reminds me of one of the lines in a Rambo movie, maybe by the colonel who trained him and boasts that Rambo ignores pain to achieve his mission. Or doesn’t even feel the pain. He can survive under all conditions of cold, heat, bleeding wounds, hunger, etc etc etc.
Some of the olympians compete with broken toes in gymnastics, a history of bake sales to raise money, daily commuting for hours to get to a gym, leaving their families for years, missing a normal childhood (or adult life) of course. But also years of leg breaks and illness, years of being told they can’t do it and should quit, years of determination, deprivation and conviction that overcome pain, separation from family, years of strain to excel, become stronger, learn a particular move or motion.
It is just astounding and astonishing. Some times they are children who have been practicing gymnastics since they were three or five. Sometimes it is a 60- or 70-year-old (the oldest is 71) who competes because s(he) can. I love it and can’t see too much of it.
I am still fitting in tennis three or four times a week, living much of the rest of my personal and business and family life. But I am totally inspired, have now done some exercise as well for 263 consecutive days (last night it was push ups at 1 am after a dinner out with friends). I am happy to also report that either the glucosamine (which doesn’t always work for people), the quad exercises, or just my body healing naturally over time have minimized the stiffness and discomfort in my left leg and knee. Of course I would have ignored it totally after hearing the stories of the olympians…but I didn’t, and it improved.