The Olympics make me cry.
I listen to the stories of the athletes, and I weep. I listen to coverage of them crossing finish lines, or beating the odds, or achieving a "first," and I choke up. I watch them interviewed after they've won their medals and their joy makes my eyes well.
Yesterday, the Canadians won their very first gold medal on Canadian soil. I wept.
Yesterday, Johnny Spillane won the first American medal (a silver!) in Nordic Combined, a combination of cross country skiing and ski jumping. I choked back tears.
Don't even get me started on figure skating. (Although, for some reason, pairs skating leaves me cold.)
So what's this all about? I've done some thinking about it, and I think it's my response to the sheer amount of dedication and hard work these athletes have devoted their lives to. I am awestruck and moved by their commitment and their sacrifice.
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And I have a tinge of envy mixed in too: what an amazing gift it must be to be able to concentrate with singular purpose on one thing, to excel at a talent and to rise to the top.
I was once a pretty good piano player, and even started my college career as a music major. I quickly discovered that I did not have what it takes to really be a musician. Maybe that was because I lack the requisite devotion or maybe it was simpler than that, that I just didn't have enough talent or interest to do it right. It was not a difficult decision to drop out of music, but it is one that I regret a little bit. I regret not trying harder and seeing where it might have taken me. Today, I can hardly play a note.
I dabble now at writing. And I wonder where my writing could take me if I tried harder, committed myself more fully to it. What if I had enough time to give most of it to writing? What if five little people weren't constantly pulling at my arms, my coattails, my mind, my heart? Yesterday I decided to keep track of how often someone needed something from me, whether that be just an answer to a question or for me to find something or do something, feed someone, wipe someone. I stopped counting after 5 requests in under 5 minutes.
For now, they are my great opus, my canvas and my pages. For now, that is good and right. Someday? Maybe I'll have the chance to pour myself into some other endeavor and see where it takes me.
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