About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Heart of a Champion

For two weeks every two years I find myself glued to the television. I become a completely consumed fan of the Olympics. Skiing, snowboarding, luging and even curling... I will watch them all. I am introspective enough to realize that my interest in the sports will disappear as soon as the medal is hung around someone's neck and the torch is extinguished.

I love the Olympics! I love everything about the event. Yes, I love the "thrill of victory." I cry like a child who has lost her puppy when "agony of defeat" moments occur. I still tear up remembering Dan Jansen's story several Winter Olympics ago. He was the speed skater whose sister died of leukemia the day of his race. He dedicated his performance to her. He fell. Yes, I am a sucker for the documentary style heart-wrenching, against all odds stories of the athletes.

I have always considered myself a future Olympian seeking a sport. Every two years, I am afforded the opportunity to dream. I can clearly envision myself on the medal stand. (Of course I'm in the center. After all, there is little doubt that I would win gold!) The uniform I wear changes according to the sport I had just watched, but the sentiments are always the same. Everybody is cheering. Tears are running down the faces of my loved ones as I triumphantly present myself to the world as the champion from America.

To date, the only thing standing between me and my Olympic medal is excelling in a sport. I am not particularly good at anything athletic. I have found this an annoying sticking point.

I can feel my Olympic dream slipping out of my grasp. Can it be that I, an uncoordinated, ample hipped, slightly clumsy, sometimes undisciplined, one-legged woman may not be destined for Olympic gold?

I have been slapped into reality by the commentators on NBC. I listened as they referred to an Olympic skating pair as "geriatric" and discussed how the couple came out of retirement to give their dream one more opportunity to be realized. From the description I was prepared to see a 70 year old couple skate onto the rink.

I stopped working so that I could see this couple skate. I was hoping the cameras would catch them putting their walkers to the side of the rink as they gracefully took to the ice. Did I want to see a 70 year old woman in a skating skirt? Would he break a hip if he fell? I was intrigued.

What? The skaters were younger than I. Apparently, in the Olympics, "geriatric" refers to any athlete over 32. In that moment, my gold medal vanished. I am now too old to find a sport, to become disciplined and to dominate. I waited too long.

Robby is now the torch bearer for my Olympic dream. I get chills thinking of Robby standing on the medal stand. I hope that he begins to show interest in a sport soon. He only has 28 years before he is considered washed up and over the hill. I worry that time is not on my side. He just ran directly into a wall while chasing his cat down the hallway.

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