Olympic Observations

 

Watching the Olympics in Rio can help me feel like a great useless blob.

I realize that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to athletes that are in outrageous shape and much younger. But seeing these competitors run straight to the edge of what they are capable, then hurl themselves to record-breaking times and personal bests does hold up a mirror for self-examination.

The human body is capable of incredible accomplishments, but only with a strong mind as a co-pilot. Any athlete who breaks down psychologically only beats himself. Any loss of focus or distraction after making an error in performance can make the difference in being in the medals or not.

And most of the athletes incorporate their sport into their already complicated lives, not the other way around. Life comes before sport. Each profile revealed more challenges than the last. Injuries, illnesses, family and financial struggles, their lives are just like the rest of ours. But they do it anyway.

Even with the possibility of having this happen.

Their heart and determination lie outside their troubles. They push through and persevere no matter what else is going on around them. A few athletes  that had to miss the last Olympics are now in Rio. Others who performed better in the last Olympics are struggling in this one.  We all have peaks and valleys. Even Michael Phelps.

And no one gets younger. We are all on the same clock.

We can dwell in our deficiencies, missteps, the bad hand we were dealt, or we can focus on reaching our goals after being honest about why we want to.  We can work to keep our minds healthy and productive. And keep putting one foot in front of the other after a fall if only to finish what we start.

We can believe in our abilities, commitment, and spirit where anything is possible.

European dressage and jumping championships decide six more equestrian places at Rio 2016 Games

We can re-evaluate, restructure,  and resume after making adjustments.

We can show up and do our best with honor and integrity.

Because in real life, there are no medals. Only the satisfaction of the doing.

 

 

What Would You Need in the Afterlife?

Women buried with handspinning spindles 3000 years ago

I didn’t plan on following a funeral post with a burial post, but this really intrigued me. A friend posted an article on Facebook about ancient women being buried with their spindles. Men were buried with their weapons. Kings were buried with their riches. If they used animals in their lifetime, they would be buried with those too.

Spinning Yarn In the Grave

Got me thinking. If I hold a belief in the afterlife, what would I pack?

I suppose I always assumed that, since I would be entering a new world without a body, I wouldn’t require anything from this world. I wouldn’t have hands to wield a sword or a spindle. But at my brother-in-law’s funeral,  I did notice a man slipping something into his casket as he said his farewell. A note? A photo? A trinket? I’ll never know.

Humans seem to have a strange attachment to objects, assigning meaning based on emotions they conjure. Another friend posted that he’d just parted with a pair of boots that he knew he’d walked over seven thousand miles in and couldn’t bear to throw them in the trash for fear of being “disrespectful.” I had a similar attachment to my last car – the only thing that had survived my tumultuous past.

Given a choice, if you really could take something with you into “the next life” what would you chose?  A favorite book? Boots? Tool? Award? Jewelry? Sporting equipment?

I think I’d take pen and paper and/or camera to document my new journey.

You never know when you might run into a doorway back.(with proof of an afterlife!)