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The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat - Laura Wise

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July 30th, 2012


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12:55 pm - The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat
I didn't think I'd tune in much to the Olympics this year. Eh, Opening Ceremonies, eh, sport. (There's been a psychological block of sorts with me and sport after my mother's passing several years ago. She was the most enthusiastic former-PE-teacher sports fan there ever could be, and once she died, I sort of... stopped watching. Except for following England in the World Cups!)

But London is my spiritual home, and so I figured I'd watch a bit of the Opening Ceremonies just because of that. I loved the ceremonies, actually -- loved the humanistic, wild yet controlled, loopy fun of them; loved the beauty and symbolism of the petals, the multiple torch-bearers at the end, the unity of the giant flame. My favorite bit was, however and of course, the Queen, James Bond, and the corgis, but this is unsurprising. ;-)

Fired by that opening ceremony, I tried to catch some of the events on the embarrassingly bad American television coverage. Loved the road cycling through the green (and, yesterday, the rain). Loved the archery. But what I got sucked into was the swimming.

Once upon a time, long long ago, I was a competitive swimmer. Watching the events made me remember the slick of the water against my body on a good day, the joy of a butterfly kick and the power of coming out of the water with arms spread wide, the slap of feet against the wall in a turn, the smell of chlorine, the cool of water against my hot-flushed face. I also remembered the sheer aching weight after a long swim, the horrible anchored thrash of losing my stroke, the red eyes, the mold in the locker room. For a moment or two I wanted to be back there -- but it was only a moment or two.

This morning, in an oppressively steamy-hot subtropical day, I went out for another walk-run. It wasn't particularly pleasant, although I tried my best to rev it up for my running segments. Halfway through, however, as I went from walk to fast jog, my right quad and hamstring became aching weight, and there it was, the horrible anchored thrash of losing my stride, of drowning in dry land.

I slowed. I walked most of the rest of the way. And I'll appreciate even more those athletes who have trained themselves past that point. They, whether they medal or not in these Games, know the thrill of victory.

Cheers to all, whether you are stationary or moving, whether you are watching or following your path in your own way. :-)

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:July 30th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
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[hugs] and feel better soon.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
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I'll just take tomorrow for gentle yoga, and it'll be fine.

Hugs hugs, A, and a good week ahead!
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From:paratti
Date:July 30th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Wishes you a good long cool swim soon.

((hugs))
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From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
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Hee -- I don't even own a swimsuit any longer. I might bestir myself to go walk on the beach, however. ;-)

Cheers and hugs, L!
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From:freixenet
Date:July 30th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
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:hugs: what a wonderful post, L. Here's to following the path before one's feet, whether it's across water or over the sand. Or, you know, whatever. :hugs hugs:
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, F, and I hope you have a lovely beach for your path. :-)

[hugs]
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From:janus_74
Date:July 30th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
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I missed the opening ceremonies, which is sad because I think the Queen, James Bond, and the corgis would have been cool to see :)

Hope your leg gets better soon.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
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It's so annoying that the clip isn't available anywhere! Bad show, IOC. :-(

Hugs and a good week, T!
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From:mobile_alh
Date:July 30th, 2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
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I'll appreciate even more those athletes who have trained themselves past that point. They, whether they medal or not in these Games, know the thrill of victory.

well said, you!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, ALH, and hugs and a lovely week ahead to you!
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From:kathyh
Date:July 30th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Watching the events made me remember the slick of the water against my body on a good day

Oh, yes. It's making me all nostalgic too even though I was never a serious competitive swimmer but it was my one good sport. I'm now reduced to a slow breaststroke instead of my fast freestyle but I'd still like to get back in the pool again.

Hope you feel better soon and many hugs.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
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A slow breaststroke would be profoundly meditative, I think! I hope you can take the plunge again. :-)

Cheers and hugs, K, and a good week!
From:gwynnega
Date:July 30th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
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I loved the Opening Ceremonies! :-)

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:July 30th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
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Weren't they cool? :-)

Cheers, Gwynne, and good health and a good week to you! [hugs]
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From:stateless82
Date:July 31st, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
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I didn't pay a lot of attention to the whole of the opening ceremonies (Eddie had control of the remote and there was a lot of flipping going on), but the petals and the fireworks afterward had me glued to the screen.

I hope you're feeling better. Stay cool.



[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:July 31st, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
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It was a stonking good way to deal with the torch and cauldron, wasn't it? :-)

Cheers, hugs, and a good Tuesday, S! :-) And cool breezes to you too.
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From:mamculuna
Date:July 31st, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
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Oh, yeah, swimming!

But boo, hiss, for the American editing of the opening ceremonies.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 31st, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
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Wasn't it ridiculous to cut away from a tribute to the 7/7 bombing victims to some stupid interview with Michael Phelps? Appalling. Still, we got to see most of the ceremonies, and it was a bloody good show. :-)

Cheers and a good week to you!

[EDITED to show it was the VICTIMS of the bombing who were honored]

Edited at 2012-07-31 11:32 am (UTC)

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