Saturday, February 17, 2018

OLYMPIC-SIZED LESSONS FOR OUR LIVES

(I posted two versions. You're now reading the revised version. The earlier appears as the next post. Which do you enjoy the best? Please leave a comment.)

During the entire past week, Lucy and I sat before our television more than usual. Reason: to enjoy a very rare opportunity: the telecast of globally-rated athletes competing on ice and snow in the ice ranks and mountains of Korea. What were we watching? The Winter Olympics, of course.

The athletes, some younger than twenty and others older than thirty years, performed the seemingly impossible. Include midair somersaults, skiing backward at fifty miles an hour, and pirouettes on ice. Teenagers and twenty-somethings showed great courage and confidence in undertaking such difficult feasts, especially considering that they'd be watched worldwide. For them, inclusion in the roster is a challenge and an honor.




WINTER OLYMPIC MEDALS

License: Creative Commons Attributions Share-Alike 4.0 International

We saw skaters performing dazzling routines, then sitting with a coach and waiting a few minutes that surely seemed like hours. If they were winners, they hugged their partners, coaches and parents. Joy abounded! Losers remained poised.

Downhills skiers learned their results more quickly than skaters, often before they left the course. They, too, responded, winners or not, with a mix of exuberance and evened-out emotions.

Can we find lessons in the 2018 Winter Olympics to better our own lives?

The personal importance of the Olympics for us viewers may be this: each of us can find an act, a profession or a skill or a relationship, to cherish and to master. When we identify our talent, we can set high goals for continuous improvement. We can train with the best coach or teacher we can hook up with. We'll practice "until our fingers bleed." (Stephen King's phrase.) We'll enjoy our wins and accept our losses, with gratitude for the chance to live our lives. 

We'll ask: what's my act in life? Who's my coach/teacher/model? 

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