The Olympics are currently in full swing, which in my world means one thing for sure: I am injured. Whenever the Olympics are on, I hurt myself.
It's not my fault! Ok, it is my fault. I have been trying for years to figure out how to blame the athletes, the announcers, the network, and the commercials. But the truth is, I have nobody to blame but myself.
It's always been this way for me. From the time I was just a little Jeepgirl, riding down the basement stairs in a plastic sled with my brothers until just last week when I tried to duplicate a training plan outlined in alluring videoclips on a commercial for an official-Olympic-sponsor, I watch the medals ceremonies with a package of frozen peas on some body part.
It always starts with the same sentence: "Hey! I bet I could do that!" The reality is quite different. I cannot do that.
Those darn Olympians, they make it look so easy! All those world class athletes who train for 6 to 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, for years on end are very well conditioned. Not only can they perform super-human feats, but they can do so smoothly and in control. Even the wipe-outs look choreographed and well orchestrated. I can't help but stare at the TV screen as the replay is superimposed over the live image of a medic sledding some Norwegian down the mountain and say "I could do that! I know I could!"
If the action in question was writhing in pain while being carted to the medical tent, I'd be right. Otherwise, not so much.
One year, after watching Evgeni Plushenko doing a warm up, I practically tore my rectus abdonimus right out of my body! I spent the next 5 days walking around like Quasimoto. (and that was just his warm up!) Another year, after seeing a training video of Apolo Ohno, I strained my medial collateral ligament and my knee swelled up like a softball. This year, it was Jamie Anderson and my rotator cuff tendon. I should know better by now! Yet somehow, I don't.
OH! Then there's the summer Olympics. Don't even get me started on the training techniques of Bella Karolyi and their effects on my body throughout the years!
Every once in a while, though; every one in a GREAT while….I pull something off. That's what keeps me trying. I'm looking for that elusive athletic feat, accomplishment, trick that is-- in fact -- just a trick. Sometimes something that looks spectacular is in reality not all that spectacular.
The summer I was 12, my best friend and I spent countless hours standing on the top rail of the swing set and executing the Olga Korbut flip. Successfully. It was actually way easier than it looked! (Way less dangerous than indoor bobsledding.)
Of course, that was when I was 12. Today, as I sit watching snowboard cross with frozen vegetables on my shoulder, I am making a vow NOT to climb the nearest swing set in 2016. It may not be that easy now. And I'm sure Olga Korbut has been blamed for enough concussions already.