Daily Reflections From My Window

August 1, 2021 Sunday

Advertisements

“A true champion can adapt to anything.”

Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Have you been watching the Olympics? We have. I have always loved watching the best of the best in their sports compete and represent our country. They used to seem so much older back when I was a kid. Were they? Now kids are channeled into Olympic pipelines and spend their entire childhoods in pursuit of this “dream”. But whose dream? They start at 6 years old or younger in sports most kids dabble in for fun.

Once when our son was having a great time playing T-ball, he and the rest of the outfielders were just enjoying digging in the dirt for bugs. Bugs were pretty important to find! I don’t even think they knew there was a game going on. No one ever hit that far in T-ball, thank goodness. One mom actually turned to me and said, “You mean, he doesn’t have a private batting coach? He’ll never make it in T-ball.” Ouch. I come from a baseball family. My grandfather was on a farm team for the Yankees (or was it the Mets?) my Dad played as a kid and coached. My brother played all through his life and my one sister and I played softball , I while in junior and high school (but a local team, not for the school-I wasn’t that good) and later the two of us were on a team just for FUN. When Simone Biles decided to withdraw from the US gymnastics team for mental health reasons, she got a lot of flack. I kind of missed it. Though I grew up imagining myself as Nadia Comenici, (yes, never stepped on a balance beam in my life, or done a handstand, but my imagination was with her every step of the way!). This time I’ve been more focused on swimming, because my friend Carol’s cousin just happens to be Caeleb Dressel.

I listened to news story after news story with everyone commenting on what a disgrace Simone was. REALLY? I hope every athlete hears her loud and clear. She would have been putting herself and others in danger if she had continued. She had what they call the “Twisties”, where gymnasts lose their focus IN THE AIR and fall flat on the ground. They used to call it “balking”. It’s like when a horse refuses to go over a jump and the rider gets thrown. Every single routine she performs has a twist, if not several. She said that she had an extreme case this time, so used her judgement and stepped aside. I applaud her for that. THAT’S a champion. She gave another gymnast a chance. I heard an interview Dominique Dawes, also an Olympic champion, did about Simone. I’ll listen to her over some hack commentator and though Dominique and Simone have walked a similar path, it’s unique to each of them. Simone, Dominique pointed out, was the last survivor of that creepy coach Larry Nasser who sexually abused those young athletes he was sworn to teach and protect. Add that to the twisties and I can’t even imagine what she would be going through as she achieved the extremely high level feats she was required for her skill and ability. Yes, leave my champion, Simone alone! She’s a wonderful example for young athletes. We expect them to do things no other mortal can do. And as kids. She also said this: “It just wasn’t fun anymore.” She had the pressure of the world literally on her shoulders. Imagine that. THAT took courage.

So what about my outfielder? He’s a champion in so many ways! He and his best buddy BJ, would dig in our backyard all day long. We joked that they were digging a hole to China. They would sit and dig and TALK. The picture above is of the two picking a Christmas tree one year. I KNOW I have a picture of them digging that hole. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but looking at the way kids are now, maybe a few of them need a small garden shovel and a buddy and some place to just dig. My son is a real listener. He’s a great friend to anyone lucky enough to earn that, and one smart cookie. He prefers individual sports like running to team ones. Yup, he did ok, despite not having that private batting coach. Would my grandfather, father and brother be proud of him? You bet! He’s our champion. And he drew this picture a LONG time ago with his unique art skills. Who knew? I think I’ve told you that I have no idea what this will be about when I wake up and today that was more true than it ever has been! Go dig a hole. Give life some thought. You may find that when your mind wanders and you can think, you’ll remember the most amazing things about people you are blessed to know. I do! I’m blessed that each and every one of you take your time to read this. I hope it’s positive and encouraging.

As for Caeleb! He’s doing what HE wants to do and that’s also a lesson for young athletes. Do what makes you happy and no matter what that is, you will thrive. God made each of us unique. We’re not all athletes. Some of us were always picked last (anyone remember that?). But God gave each of us a life and a purpose. Don’t waste it. Look who’s here!!! In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!