I've caught the fever a little late, but I've caught it for sure. I stayed up way past my bedtime last night, lured along by each clip of an Olympic event and the promise of others just a few minutes away. I dearly wish in moments like that that I owned a DVR. I do own a VCR and tapes, but I'm too lazy to set those up. It'd be really nice to have all the Olympics recorded for my easy viewing pleasure at much earlier hours than the network airs it.
I was most captivated by the Alpine skiing event where the women raced four at a time down the mountain. It looked like so much fun! And of course, they made it look so easy. I've been skiing all of once in my life when I was 13 or so. It wasn't pretty. I spent most of the day with my legs cramped in a V, trying to slow my downward decent. (I'm no better at snowboarding.) I had to keep reminding myself as I watched the Olympics last night that the women I was watching were the best in the world, so of course they made it look easy. And even they made mistakes and crashed.
Still, there's that small part of my brain that thinks, It doesn't look that hard. I'm sure if I just got on the skis at the top of the mountain, I'd figure it out.
The rest of me is wondering how to partition and exterminate this suicidal part of my brain.
It's not only skiing that that small part of me feels I could do. That same small margin of complete arrogance imagines bobsledding with ease, shooting targets dead center every time, and even ski jumping with grace. I've been ice skating often enough to know that I don't have what it takes to do a jump on blades. I don't think I'd even make a 180 turn and be able to skate backward without falling.
But watching these amazing athletes, I get, for that moment, to put myself in their shoes and imagine that I can do all these incredible activities. It's a heady experience.