Let The Games Begin!

Published 12:04 pm Monday, August 25, 2008

A few years ago, I remember reading a study that said more Americans would rather win an Olympic Gold Medal than be a successful doctor, actor, politician, or, anything, really. Seeing that the majority of our population doesnt appear, er, shall we say, particularly athletic, I always found the study a little disconcerting. On the other hand, just because one thinks being an Olympian is cooler than being President doesnt mean one has to look like Carl Lewis. .
Ever since I sat upon my first horse at the age of three and saw my first Olympic television coverage shortly after, I had enormous dreams of standing on the hallowed, tallest, podium, medal hanging heavily round my neck. The sad fact is that being an Olympian requires, besides freakish talent, huge sums of money, a support team that could rival any Hollywood entourage, and bags full of stardust and luck sprinkled down upon your young shoulders by Heaven above. Its discouraging to even consider it.
What the rest of us mere mortals need is thundering recognition of our personal triumphs. We have our own, particular, gifts that we know we can do better than anyone. I know a mam that, while shaking aspirins out of a bottle, always manages to toss out exactly two tablets. He never fails! But where is Bob Costas when this happens? Cooing over Michael Phelps, I imagine.
And why is it that no one has ever witnessed my amazing ability to scoop up a pile of horse manure with a flat shovel with such aplomb that not a single apple flies off? There is a true art to this: one must scoop quickly, then sort of catch the forward momentum and slow down the sweep through the air in order to contain the pile. Yet Wheaties has failed to contact me.
Another acquaintance can spit a watermelon seed over twenty feet. Now this surely deserves a hefty contract with Nike. Im not certain, however, for what. And a logo reading, Just Spew It may not catch on internationally.
Come to think of it, perhaps personal triumphs should be just that: little moments of glory that belong to us, alone. We spend each day being pulled between work and children, spouses and pets. Perhaps we should just keep some things to ourselves. So the next time you parallel park with simply two moves or find a four leaf clover by glancing down at your lawn, whistle Fanfare For The Common Man and then go buy a Snickers. Youve earned it!

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