Thursday, August 2, 2012

Reaching my Olympic potential!

I have a confession to make. I have always wanted to be an Olympian. Every four years for the whole of my life, there is a reminder that I have not yet fully reached my potential. A fierce burning in my heart that I was destined for greatness. As a child, I planned and plotted to get "there", practising my long jump, rowing in the bathtub, using the curb as a balance beam for my gymnastics routine. But, strange when you consider my lofty ambitions, there was one major stumbling block. I completely sucked at all sports (you know the kids picked last for teams? Yep! That was me). Couple that with short, stocky legs and a complete lack of confidence and you had a recipe for little Annie's Olympic non-success.
I look back and wonder what drew me to the Olympics, what made me continue my drive to join the Olympic movement despite my obvious shortcoming and realize that it wasn't the sport necessarily, but the athletes themselves that had me glued to the television and practising my fencing skills with my poor teddy bears. It was the EFFORT of Olympic competition. The drive, the passion and desire to be the absolute best at something you love so much that you put aside almost everything in order to pursue it. That is what got my heart rate soaring, my pulse racing and made me feel so alive. It was something that I innately understood and admired.
I know effort. It courses through my veins. Nothing comes physically easily or naturally to me, so if I want to attain any goal I have to bust a gut to get there. It's how I live my life too. If there's a problem, test, event etc... my way of dealing is to work non-stop until it's solved or finished.  Not much is easy for me, but the effort is truly satisfying.
So, as an adult, I still yearn for Olympic greatness. What I lack in physical prowess, I make up for in heart, right? There has got to be one sport I can excel in at a world level, right? Right???

Table Tennis: I was sure this was my in, however upon further research I realize that this is a highly competitive Olympic sport. With my complete lack of hand/eye co-ordination, this makes it unlikely that I could compete.
Fencing: has some possibility...if I didn't suffer from the aforementioned complete lack of hand/eye co-ordination. When the coaches come up with a training system that makes it possible to hit the right spot while aiming somewhere completely random, I'll be your girl. Plus, every time I struck my opponent I woul have to fight the urge to pull up my mask and offer an apology, "well sorry, old chap, well done, carry on". And yes, I absolutely imagine myself saying that with an English accent.
Equestrian:  finally something I can actually do! I rode horses my entire life and for a while this actually was my Olympic dream. I can ride, I can jump, I can fly, I can.....not afford a horse of that caliber, nor the immense cost of boarding, veterinarian, blacksmith, travel ......well, you get it. Although if I sold a child or two....
Volleyball: the only sport I showed even a glimpse of natural talent at in school. I do enjoy playing volleyball. Major sticking point? I am a TERRIBLE, I mean absolutely abominable team player. I just do not play well with others. I am hard enough on myself, can you imagine me turning my ire on a poor unfortunate teammate? If we lost, heads would roll. Chances are we would lose. I turn away from team sports in a effort to spare innocent lives.
Soccer: see volleyball
Javelin: Sean's suggestion. Not sure why he thinks I would excel at javelin, but whatever. I'm practising with wooden skewere right now. Poor kids look like they've been visiting a deranged acupuncurist.
I will continue my quest to find a sport that I can qualify for the next Olympics. The quest begins anew after these Olympics extinguish the flame and pass it on to the next host. Please share your suggestions as to which sports I can try, or sports you'd like to try yourself!
And in the meantime, continue treating each moment in life like it's your Olympic dream - live it, love it and give it everything you possibly have!

(running off into the distance, ponytail bouncing, Chariots of Fire music playing, sun is setting)
Find Your CORE!


  1. Rowing or Biking would be my first choices for myself. My friend would suggest wrestling, as he has been on me for years to get into it! As a Kid though, I dreamed of being a Olympic figure skater..haha :)

  2. aahhh, Erin, so many little girls dream of figure skating stardom. I always wished to reach it via marriage to Kurt Browning, LOL! Thanks for sharing - maybe if two seater bicycle racing becomes an olympic sport we can train and compete together!