Joe and I have been enjoying the Olympics, but we admit, the commentaries are sometimes comical. With all the training, competition, preparation, expertise, skill, stamina, etc. it must take for each person to get to that level to compete, it’s amazing what the commentators find to “pick” on in the competitor’s style, performance, and routine. I realize these athletes have been doing what they do for a very long time – it’s a way of life for them, and they have perfected their skills to amazing levels!
I’ve never been very athletic. The first time I “made” a summer softball team, I broke my little finger thinking I caught the ball but covered the mitt too soon. My career ended that first day of practice. Additionally, most athletic events require competition, and I don’t have that in me either. I’m OK if you win.
But I am coordinated. Athletic and coordinated are two very different things. I was a cheerleader (back in the day), I can dance (i.e.: move) and I can multitask….all needing coordination to some degree but I’ve not found any level of professionalism in any of these for me.
Just last night, I believe we discovered that in some ways, Joe and I are like the couples in the pair’s figure skating competition. And this is how the commentators might view our routine when it comes to caring for our son and managing the life God has given us:
MC (Male Commentator)
FC (Female Commentator)
MC, “I’m amazed at how well they’ve mastered getting Joey up in the morning, but you know, they seem to be dragging a bit when it comes to getting him to the cubby for breakfast on time. The timing…oh, the timing…if only they could have fine tuned that little move! They seemed to ‘get’ that move back when they were competing in the Nationals, but this is the big time now.”
FC, “I know, MC, I think they needed to get him up just a little earlier to avoid Joey’s not wanting to wake up because it was MONDAY! It should have been better anticipated by this pair, don’t you think?
MC, “Yes, FC, they just really slipped on this one. It could have been like a Friday wakeup call if they had just anticipated the slippery slope of frustration and sleepiness. And that spin…it was just not at all graceful, but Cindi did seem to get out of the way of Joey’s flailing arms in her direction. THAT she has perfected quite well. She’s gotten pretty quick. Nice move!”
FC, “It’s also quite amazing how, once he’s up and moving, that Cindi can gently urge Joey to gets his teeth brushed, shoes on, and with fewer prompts. It’s also clear that Joe has mastered the delicate moves of prodding Joey to the car with little confrontation at this point. It really is a team effort. They seem to do better as the week goes by. I guess like anything it’s practice and dedication.”
MC, “How do you think this competition will fair for them? Do you think they have a chance to place here at the Olympics?”
FC, “Sure, MC, I think they have a chance, but like anything in life….today is a good day, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings! After all, they still have the rest of the day to perform!”
I never gave it much thought, but we’re always perfecting what we do – whether at our job, at home, raising a family, learning a hobby, or emptying the dishwasher!
I run a race, learn new steps, perfect the spins every day that many others probably couldn’t do – not because they wouldn’t be able, but because they haven’t be in training in the same way I have. We care for a son with special needs and I’m hoping to keep my skills up until I’m old. But I know, in order to do that, I need to keep practicing.
My husband and I have often been told that we make it look “easy.” What comes easily is how much we love our son – caring for him is just second nature. When one makes the choice to do the right thing, rather than what is easy, comfortable, and fun, and when accompanied with cheerfulness and a good attitude, we can see that the training can be productive. But it does takes stamina, perseverance, dedication, patience, sacrifice, longsuffering, and a few other things – all of which are developed over time – much like the training of an athlete.
Sometimes an athlete needs to stop and rest to be able to get back in the competition While we’d like to take a day off, we realize it doesn’t happen as often as we might like, and some days are weary, but we work to find the little breaks and rests within the 24/7 job description of this athletic event!
We treat this race of life in such a way, that we prepare ourselves for the long haul:
- Surrounding ourselves with positive people who cheer us on! (THANK YOU!)
- Relying on those who are willing to help – so we can rest and get refreshed.
- Appreciating the experts who’ve gotten us to where we are – there are many of them!
With these “helps” we can be “in it to win it” and maybe even better our time.
But the true and simple reality is this: We just want to complete the event – well.