Olympic Fever

We have been watching the Olympics here pretty much nightly. Honey is a huge fan and watches as much as humanly possible, which means I’ve seen more than my fair share of badminton, dressage and rowing. But we’ve also seen some pretty awesome Olympic moments, like Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals — which was pretty darned awesome.

For me, I think two of the most significant competitions involved Dara Torres and Constantina Tomescu-Dita. By now everyone has heard of Torres who, at 41, is competing in her fifth Olympics and arguably in the best shape of her life. It was a little disappointing that she didn’t win gold but two silver medals is nothing to sneeze at. Tomescu-Dita absolutely owned the women’s marathon, winning a gold medal at the young age of 38. (Silver medalist Catherine Ndereba, who is reigning world champion, is 36.)

Part of watching the Olympics for me is marveling at the feats done by young, world-class athletes. This year, however, has been as much about finding inspiration in my peers. Torres, Tomescu-Dita and Ndereba are my contemporaries, not teenagers or 20-somethings. It’s hard not to be a little awed, and also to wonder what I could still accomplish even now at the ripe “old” age of 37 (at least for another two months).

One of my favorite quotes comes from a news story about Torres and her wins:

“If it helps anyone else out there who is in their middle aged years, [who] maybe put off something they thought they could not do because they were too old. Or maybe thought because they have children that they can not balance what they want to do and being a parent,” she said. “If that can help anyone out there to show what I have done and that you can do it, then I am absolutely thrilled.”

Maybe I won’t be heading off to the Olympics anytime soon but I’m more fired up than ever to follow my dreams, whatever they may be.