Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thanks, Mom

The TV watching in this house is getting out of control. Olympics overload. We got caught up watching sports we'd never watched before this morning... some of which were cool (track cycling on the velodrome!) and some of which were not (handball?). Finally we were able to rip ourselves away from the TV to attempt to have a semi-productive day.

Of course the primetime showings are incredible. Last night I was pretty darn inspired by the 38 year old marathon gold medalist from Romania... she looked great at the end- so strong. You knew from watching her stride that she was feeling great and not gonna get caught in the last few miles. I was trying to just imagine how incredible that would have been to enter that huge stadium full of fans and run a victory lap around the track as you know you're winning your first Olympic Gold Medal at age 38. (Clearly, I have not yet hit my peak at age 34!!) Goosebumps. Cool.

And of course Dara Torres swimming a personal best at age 41... .01 away from winning the Olympics... Goosebumps again. I know I talk a lot about swimming and what a great sport it is, but seriously, you can win Olympic medals at 15 or 41. It's perfect to swim when you're super fit and training for an Ironman, or when you're just trying not to lose too much fitness while growing a baby inside of you... Anyway, one last thought I had about Dara last night... It was so clear that she was enjoying herself so much... looking all around her prior to the start and taking it all in. Perspective. And what great sportmanship she showed when she looked up at the clock and saw her results- silver by .01. You didn't see her filing any protests or sulking at losing. Instead, she gave a huge smile to the gal next to her and said something about how great of a race it was. Cool.

Anyway, another thing that struck me while watching last night was the close relationships some of the athletes have with their moms. In particular, Michael Phelps and Jamaica's Usain Bolt. All week we watched Phelps immediately look for his mom in the stands after each of his wins. And after his final one last night, he asked the hundreds of photograghers to part so he could make his way up to his family and hug his mom.
And Bolt, holy cow. Never seen anyone run like that. And he kept running at near top speed, right past the finish line and didn't stop until he got to his mom and was able to give her a big hug in front of the other 91,000 fans.
Johnson's launched their Thanks, Mom campaign as well... showing video clips of the Olympic athletes thanking their moms for all the support through the years. Many of the athletes are quoted as saying that they knew their moms were always there to support them and loved them no matter win or lose. I remember that from my own mom... growing up, I remember that my mom would tell me before I would compete that she loved me no matter how I did. I never felt pressure from her to win, but I did feel her unwaivering support for me and my dreams. Even now as an adult, I know without a doubt that I can depend on my mom for anything. What a great feeling. Thanks, mom.

And soon, I'll get to be the mom... and I'll feel that same unwaivering love and support for my little one, no matter what he/she chooses to do with his/her life. Cool.

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