The Winter Olympian– Rattling down an ice tube at 80 miles an hour, sometimes face-first. Or—flying through the air twisting, convulsing, strapped to 5 ft long boards. Or– landing on one 4 inch wide plank from dizzying heights. Or–Speeding on an edge that tends one way then the other reaching up to 37 miles an hour on one’s own power. Then there are those that add dance and poetry to similar feats.
The expense and decades of incredible training, bodies sacrificed and broken and then repaired only to fight again is almost inconceivable to me. Some of the athletes know they will come in last or close to it. And some who hope to stand on the podium fall short by as little as 4/100ths of a second. How do they even measure that?
It is grandiose to think that are small squares and rectangles can be discussed in context of the Olympian. But the examples set by these crazy people, or heroes, or ordinary folks who like to test themselves are something that can—just maybe–push discouragement away after a bad painting day. Maybe, as a creative adventurer, knowing that so many people risk so much simply for the sheer, (pardon the pun) exercise of it, trying new or questionable techniques will come easier. And maybe there will be less self-criticism and more pride-for-trying when they don’t pan out
The Olympic Creed: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
To fight on again this week for the perfect balance between finesse and aggression–works in progress.