THE SUMMER GAMES. 11 Jul 2012
On July 27th, one of my favorite things in the entire world is going to happen: the 30th Olympiad will open in London, England. And I cannot freaking wait. I am obsessed with the Olympics. Ever since I can remember, I have been transfixed by them. I can recall watching gymnastics, and just being in awe of the young girls and all they could do with their bodies. I would sit on the edge of my seat and watch as swimmers, neck and neck with one another, would race to beat each other and the world record clock in the bottom corner of my television screen. I remember wincing in pain as Greg Louganis slammed his head on the diving board. (Watching diving still makes me nervous.) And crying when Kerri Strug did her miraculous vault and limped her 4’8” little self into Bela Karolyi’s arms writhing in pain, but delivering the U.S. women’s gymnastics team the gold.
And the back stories. The stories of all of the athletes. From all over the world. From huge powerful countries. From tiny countries that I couldn’t possibly point out on a map. Incredible, harrowing stories of tragedy and triumph...chronicles of the years and years of grueling training they have all gone through. All of them. No matter where they come from, or what language they speak have something in common. They have dedicated their lives to accomplishing 1 thing...becoming an Olympian.
Yet, there’s only 1 gold medal to hand out in each event. 1. And every 4 years, while some dreams are made, others are inevitably dashed. And every 4 years, I sit in awe of these people. These, in my mind, almost superhumans, who push themselves to the brink mentally and physically everyday for years. People who put in a full day’s work before I even wake up in the morning. Men and women alike. And on next Friday night, they will all come marching into Olympic Stadium waving their flags and wearing their hopes on their new, Ralph Lauren designed sleeves. And we will all watch, with baited breath to see who brings home the ultimate glory--an Olympic medal.
I think part of the reason that I get so caught up in the romance of the Olympics is because it is all so foreign to me. A lofty goal in my mind is finally watching every episode of The Wire. Because while these athletes will be realizing lifelong dreams that they have been toiling for, I will be participating in my own version of the summer games. Mine are a bit different. They involve a little thing called sheer laziness. And it happens every year, as opposed to every 4. I am just straight up lazy in the summer.
Many women I know say they always get thinner in the summer and feel so motivated and active. They relish in the bounty of all the fresh fruits and veggies available and eat so light and so clean. (Some say they’re just too hot to eat at all!) Not me, G. I have never been that person. Actually, I usually chub out a bit in the summer. Not gonna lie. When the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, something in me switches and I want to drink frosty, cold beer on the beach. I want to drink frozen, highly caloric drinks with my girlfriends on patios. I want to eat dogs and burgers and various mayonnaise based salads and hoagies and kettle cooked chips. Really, I just want to eat. Everything.
What I DON’T want to do? Work out. I ain’t Keri Strug. I’m Keri Strugglin.
After a 5-day hiatus at the shore, I returned to Lithe this week and have been a hot mess ever since. In Wings on Monday, I kept zoning out. At times, I would realize that I was daydreaming (about hoagies and chips no doubt) and totally phoning in my lunges and tap and lifts. Today, in Stems, Tif had to remind me that I was actually in class, and that while yes, Taylor Dane’s “Don’t Rush Me” is a great song, it was not the time to stop and sing softly to myself. I’m just finding it hard to keep my head in the game. I know I could get a little deeper in wide second, or I could squat a little lower in my standing lunges, but just can’t get myself there. I look over at fellow Lither Anna Di Gregorio and I feel like a Lithe loser! Not a bead of sweat on my forehead while she is dripping! I just can’t bring myself to push it!
As always though, the women of Lithe are there to help me realize I’m not alone. Locker room talk, even with the aforementioned Lithetastic Anna, reveal that a lot of us are feeling the same way. That the temptations of summer are beckoning us away from the studio and our routines and into the sunshine. And, while perhaps we aren’t Olympians, I must admit that we actually have one thing in common with them. We show up. Day in and day out. I see the same faces. We may not exactly be excited about it every time, and perhaps we aren’t at the top of our game as we are in other seasons, but we are there. We schedule those 60 minutes and we show up. Without fail. Most of the time.
I must say, that at least for me, that’s a major accomplishment. Not one to delay instant gratification for long-term results, I think it might actually be my own Olympic level feat to keep coming almost every day even though I’d much rather be getting a tan or eating something entirely unhealthy. So I think that’s going to be my angle this year while I get inspired by Jordyn Wieber and her cohort while they flip and twist toward gymnastics gold (fingers crossed). And ultimately, that’s what summer is about, right? It’s the time for wiggle room and for relaxing and a bit of indulging. Clearly my brain is telling me that much anyway. That sun and fun can be Olympic events too. So although for some of us, our summer games may just be about keeping our heads in the game at all, I figure as long as we keep it at it, we’ll get our mojo back at some point. And I’m good with that.
See you in class!
Image of Lither, Sayeh Hormozi wearing Lithe's Hotstepper dress via Dom.