The Games Within The Games

So I was all dressed in my workout stuff and on the way out the door to the gym at 6:45 yesterday morning when I got sucked into the vortex that is the Olympics. (And they hadn’t even started yet.)   I took off my Nikes, sat down in my big, old, well-worn-and-stained-but-loved sage green chair and watched Matt Lauer, Savannah and Natalie interview a couple Olympic insiders, a few of the London elite and, most specially, an assortment of inspiring athletes.

And then… And then… last night we gathered around our Sony and watched with delight the Opening Ceremonies. All that pomp and circumstance, with London as the backdrop (ahhhh…the greenery, that architecture, their princess!), were goosebump-provoking. Well, until 10:20, at which point I could not keep my eyes open any longer and retired to my Sealy Posturepedic. (Cassidy – no surprise – was the lone Myers to stay up and watch every single second.)

So I got up this morning, read the paper and Googled a bunch of clips from all the things I missed. Loved every pic and video I saw. Especially seeing our USA athletes “take the field”! It gets me every time.

I personally can do without the media’s scrutiny/bashing/criticizing/dissecting of every single aspect of the 4+ hour presentation.  Let’s just consider and appreciate all the hard work, endless hours and thousands of people it took to produce an entertaining, special show. Kudos to you, UK!  And thank you.

So The Games have begun.  And as much as I love The Games, I love (maybe even more) the games within The Games, the story within The Story. I savor every morsel of inside scoop I can get.  Many of the stories are fun, some are sad, a handful seem unbelievable.  But they’re all true stories of perseverance, of love and, sometimes, of loss. Stories of real life.

Consider my hat (Made-in-China beret?) officially off to each and every Olympic athlete. Each one has taken their body to the brink, and back. They’ve given up innumerable Friday nights while their friends were at a party or the prom. They’ve been at the gym or in the pool at 7:00 a.m. each Saturday morning while the rest of us slept. How many week nights have they forsaken watching Modern Family or The Bachelor to run, swim or lift weights, readying themselves for these next two weeks?  They’ve had laser-like focus, day in and day out, year in and year out. They’ve all been “bent,” but not a one has been “broken.”

Why? Because they love their sport more than JLo loves suck-on pants. More than Londoners love their pilsners.

And what about the families — the parents, siblings and grandparents that have sacrificed so much? Think about it: How many drive-thrus have been driven thru on the way home from yet another grueling practice?  How much money has been spent on gasoline,  driving each budding athlete to and from lessons and games since…when?  Since like age 5.

For what?  For a chance to see their loved one reach the pinnacle.  The pinnacle, of course, being the possibility of taking the podium, donning a medal, and  listening with pride (through smiles, shivers and tears) when the World serenades them with America’s song.

But there’s another pinnacle that they’ve already reached: Being in London at this very moment, representing America, participating in the sport they love, competing as an Olympian!  They’ve worked so hard.  And they deserve every bit of props and glory we can bestow upon them, whether they bring home a medal or not.

Okay. To the story within The Story we go.  What do you think:  Do Ryan Lochte and that darling Australian swimmer Blair Evans have a thing going on? (You know you want to know.)  And answer me this:  Could he have a better-looking jawline? I think not.

And what about the eight-month pregnant Malaysian rifle-woman? Or Oscar Pistorius from South Africa, an awe-inspiring amputee athlete with prosthetic limbs? You go guy! Will Misty May and Kerri do it again? Isn’t Gabrielle Douglas darling? And oh how I want Albania to bring home a medal, since they never have before.

The stories are just beginning to emerge….

So as we watch from here in America, let’s send our good vibes and best wishes over the Pond to each of our 529 athletes.  And may it rain/reign bronze, silver, gold, RED,, WHITE and BLUE!

 

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4 Responses to The Games Within The Games
  1. Diane Bertsch
    July 28, 2012 | 5:57 pm

    Go USA!!!

  2. Krista
    July 28, 2012 | 7:16 pm

    Right ON Jodie…..my sons girlfriend just missed making the Olympic track and field team by millimeters!!!! She placed 4th. The top 3 went. You’re soooo right!! The work & dedication that goes into their event is amazing. I’ve only had a small taste of it & I can say first hand…..these athletes put their hearts and souls into their sport. So I’m with you all the way in sending happy positive karma to our fellow Americans!!! Nice tribute!!!! I’ll share it with our almost Olympian…. Amy…..!

    • jodie
      July 28, 2012 | 10:14 pm

      Congrats, Amy! Your tenacity and hard work is admired by so many!

  3. Julie Baker-Law
    July 30, 2012 | 9:47 am

    I have a new favorite blog! You touched all things RED WHITE AND BLUE and oh so much more!

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It's true! Despite playing defense virtually all my life against the onslaught of this sometimes-ugly aging process, it...has...arrived! I naively thought I would escape cellulite (the Cottage Cheese) and crow's feet (the Crepe Paper). But I didn't! And why didn't anyone tell me about this emotional roller-coaster that comes with being an Empty-Nester?! My name is Jodie Barringer Myers. I'm a 54-year-old Friday/chardonnay/ hydrangea-loving wife/mom/court reporter living in Sacramento (Gold River!), California. Writing is cathartic for me. And because I look to find humor and humility among the rubble that is my now very peri-menopausal self, I'm hopeful that you will laugh, cry, learn, enjoy and, most of all, relate to what I have to say. After all, we're all in this together, right?

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