This Olympics has me thinking (uh-oh). What a horribly sad, humiliating, eye opening, real, show of strength embodied by Simone Biles. Yeah, hold on, I know everyone’s talking about it, and it already seems almost old. But this, this thing she’s done is unheard of. Athletes don’t just train their a$$es off day in and day out for a good percentage of their lives to pull out. She has to be kicking herself hard, but she made the decision look so easy. She smiled, she cheered, she showed up for her teammates, but the night after she first withdrew from the team all around competition, I saw her sitting in the stands. Her face told you the story. She wasn’t supposed to be in the stands, but there was nothing she could do about it. Lost. In that moment, if you were paying attention, the whole world had to feel her pain. All of the days she pushed through to get their, right there. It was right in front of her and instead she was watching and cheering others on in their pursuit for her own goal. What an odd out of body experience this must be for her.
You see, I never made it to her level, but I did do what she did. Day in and day out, pushing myself through injuries, coaches being supportive and not so much, talking myself into “I can” when I probably shouldn’t. What a mind fuck sports can be.
Hold on, I’m about to “squirrel”…
My daughter recently asked me to read The Hunger Games series, so I obliged. What makes reading a story so much more powerful than watching a person’s imagination come to life on the big screen? It just is.
I’ve finished the first book, and I’ve decided the Olympics are our modern day hunger games. We eat these hard working athletes up and spit them out. What the hell is wrong with humanity? Look I’m all for a good competition, success and hard work, but somehow it’s turned into something darker than that. Oh wait, did I hear someone say money?! Yep, it’s all about the Benjamin’s these days.
Now I’m circling around to college sports, I briefly wrote about it awhile ago. Student-athletes, NCAA, we must pay them their fare share. Just touching the surface. Maybe one day I’ll write more, but I’m just so against what it will do to the fabric of what I think has been kept somewhat in tact at the collegiate level. All for what, money and fame and the American dream? What is the American dream anymore anyways? Is intrinsic success a thing of the past? Are we all doing it for something/someone other than ourselves? What kind of a rabbit hole will this take us down?
Back to the beginning. Simone Biles. Heartbreak, disappointment (hers, not mine), strength, role model. I hope she made you stop and think too. The Capitol is watching.
As The Notorious B.I.G. put it so harmoniously, “Mo Money, Mo Problems”