Saturday, July 28, 2012

During the Olympics, I'm an Armchair Athlete

I wanted to excel in track and field when I was a kid. In 8th grade, I beat all the boys in the high jump...but twisted my knee when I landed and spent the next couple of weeks hobbling around with a knee the size of a football.

Our family doctor said if I was a boy and expected to play sports in high school, he'd recommend surgery to fix my knee problem. But since I was just a girl...oh, well.

I tried to run track in high school anyway. I started with the 100-yard dash and did fine...until I twisted that knee again. Basketball didn't work either. Heck, I even hurt my knee when I joined a bowling team after I retired.

Needless to say, I now enjoy my sports vicariously. During the winter Olympics, I figure skate, race on the short track, ski the slalom course, and even do a bit of curling. 

The summer Olympics are where I'm at my best though. I play basketball, run, swim, jump, dash, and play soccer. This year I might try boxing as well. There is no end to my talents when I enjoy my two weeks as an armchair Olympian.

When I'm not competing, however, I'll have my eye on a couple of our Colorado athletes. Missy Franklin, 17-year-old swimmer has been in the news. And our own local star in long jump, Colorado State University student Janay DeLoach, will be fun to watch. 

The hard part is figuring out when their events are scheduled and how to find them on the all night DVR recordings. After all, I need to get plenty of sleep to keep up my strength. It will be an exhausting (and very exciting) two weeks.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There's an app for the iPad that lets you stream whatever sport you want as it happens. I'm hoping to catch the ones I want that way.
And I was never much for playing sports. I'm in shape, just not good at any of them.

Rosalind Adam said...

I've had similar problems with sport. I damaged my ankle playing squash many years ago and now have to make do with being an armchair athlete. Frustrating, isn't it.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - I've never been what you'd call a star athlete. I do so admire what truly fine athletes can do though. I don't blame you one bit for following the games.

lizy-expat-writer said...

You could train with my OH if you like - two or three beers a night set him up for a couch potato existence during the day. Me? I watch while Ii'm ironing, or if there's something that sounds exciting from the other side of my bedroom/workroom door.
Knees are a problem - once they've gone, they've gone. My poor son dislocated both of his playing Rugby at school 20 years ago and still has to be careful.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex, I'm happily not connected to an iPad nor addicted to apps. I just set that old DVR and then use the fast forward to get to the events I want to see.

Hi Rosalind, from one who can even injure herself bending to pull weeds in the garden, yes, it's very frustrating. Athletes need to work really hard to keep ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders strong and healthy.

Margot, I've loved the Olympics since I was a kid and both winter and summer Olympics were held the same year. It's a lot more fun having them staggered by two years.

Lizy, I usually save my TV watching for evening so that's why I record everything. And yes, knees make us so vulnerable. I cringe every time I see a competitor take a spill or land the wrong way. They can be sidelined for a long time with that kind of injury.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm with you! I LOVE both the winter and summer Olympics. I could do nothing but watch! In Canada we have 3 channels showing different sports, plus we can pick up the US NBC channel as well. My faves are gymnastics, volleyball (both my previous sports), diving & well, pretty much everything else!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Jemi, I'm trying to keep myself from watching during the day, but I feel myself weakening...maybe just a peek...

Rob-bear said...

And some of us are perpetual armchair athletes. I survived both rugby and ice hockey at university. I'm not pushing my luck any further.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. I love the Olympics - but am forcing myself to switch them off - and then watch the repeats.

I love my sport - and was lucky enough to work for the British Olympic Association in 1972 .. and went to Munich .. I was so young though ... still I have to find my paperwork before these Games are over!!

I'm trying to catch my tail with all the letter writing I need to do re my Ma - and watch some of the sports ..

Enough is enough I guess! .. Enjoy your time and hope you can catch those special sports .. cheers Hilary