On the other hand, watching them makes me feel just a little
inadequate, as if I were a slacker. I start questioning my reason
for existence and begin going down roads that really should only be
visited on your birthday.
The Olympics is all about convincing
your body to do all sorts of things better than any other body on
the planet. Things that are simply impossible for the average human
Objectively speaking, you wouldn't think that slipping down an
ice slide going 90 miles an hour, with your back on a tiny sled,
would be considered an integral part of one's resume. However, if
you can do it faster than everyone else, you get a gold medal.
The contestants, I'm sure, feel a lot of pressure to win.
They used to love to wander out onto their grandparents' pond and
skate around, at one with nature, feeling the crisp air on their
cheeks and just enjoying the experience. Now the sport they love
owns them. No longer do they skate in such peace and harmony. No
longer is snowboarding a beloved pastime. Skiing is not about the
freedom and excitement of flying down a hill on two waxed boards and
avoiding trees and other obstacles, like a little brother who wiped
out. No, now it's about winning, about form, about points.
Here at home, my family still retains the spirit of the games
without so much emphasis on points.
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We have our version of the luge, only there is no sled.
The slide is the banister. Form is important here, however,
especially for boys. If they slide on their back, they need to keep
their feet straight out in front of them so they will catch the
newel post before the crux of their body does; otherwise, there will
be painful consequences.
They've tried a laundry basket down a set of stairs, but mostly
they felt the agony of defeat before reaching the bottom. The judges
My freshly waxed kitchen floor makes a wonderful skating rink.
You don't even need skates -- just socks. Oh, the graceful poses my
daughter strikes as she skates around our kitchen. There is usually
a foot and an arm in the air. Her skating costume is her pink
bathrobe with blue and yellow stars and, of course, a pair of
mismatched socks. Michelle Kwan, move over!
My boys have some interesting sports for which the Olympics does
not yet have a category. The older one's main sport is how long he
can go without changing his underwear. The younger one's sport is
how long he can go without wearing underwear. I'm telling you, if
ever there is a competition for these two sports, I think we will
have a couple of gold medalists here.
I wonder, though: How long will they enjoy the sport once they
are in competition?
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist,
author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.