SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE! 15 Aug 2012
I have to admit I write this week's blog from a post-Olympics stupor. It's barely been 48 hours since the closing ceremonies (which I thought were pretty amazing, Spice Girls on top of cars and all), and I'm seriously going through withdrawal. I've done nothing for 17 days but watch random sports like water polo (least graceful thing ever) and synchronized swimming (those women astound me with their athleticism no matter what anyone says...even if they do coat their heads in gelatin) and found myself jumping up and down and crying and laughing and just generally loving life and the power of sport. Going from that to flipping back and forth between Million Dollar Listing and a rerun of Shawshank Redemption (I'm convinced TNT would go out of business without this movie) has really thrown me for a loop.
Luckily, I spent the final days of the games with quite possibly the cutest human and fellow Olympics enthusiast to ever be born, my boyfriend's 3 yr-old niece. We pretended to be at the gymnastics all-around competition. She was Gabby Douglas doing her floor routine on the couch and I was Ali Raisman (we both have big butts) doing my beam routine on the rug. (I definintely threw out my back by simply raising my arms up into a V at one point. Super depressing.) But Baby Gabby was killing it. She raised her arm to salute the judges, waited for the final bell (me yelling "ding") before her big dismount (a front roll on the couch cushions). I wish I could report that Baby Gabby found her calling, took me aside and expressed a desire to begin training 40 hours a week simply so I can live my dream of being an Olympic gymnast through her, but no such luck. It was clear that she was just interested in the praise and adoration of us, her extremely devoted fans. Clapping and cheering at every slight contortion of her tiny little body. She even made sure I properly announced her as an athlete representing Brooklyn, New York City (not the USA, don't get it twisted people) and that all eyes were on her before she made a move.
And although I think this is pretty standard behavior for a 3-yr old, it made me think of something the announcers were saying throughout the games--that Team Great Britain was really thriving on the support of its home crowd. I did a bit of research and it turns out that Team GB won more medals in London than they have since 1908 and 18 more than they did in Beijing four years ago totalling 65 medals in all. The same happened in Canada (76), South Korea (88), Spain (92) and Australia (00). Clearly, having a crowd to cheer you on really makes a difference.
Some attribute this spike (not the case for all countries, the U.S. medal count went down from 92 in Barcelona to 96 in Atlanta) to the increased support and attention host countries begin placing on their athletes as soon as they know they've been awarded the games, and that this increased support results in more medals. And while I'm sure that's true, it can only be part of the explanation. There is really something in the energy and the roar of a home crowd that cannot be measured, but only felt. I can't imagine what it was like in Olympic Stadium, for example, when Somalian-born British long distance runner Mo Farah won the 5,000m race for his second gold only days after winning it in the 10,000m. I could feel it from my living room and I just saw the clips of his victory!
Feeling a little sluggish about getting back to Lithe this past week since I've come home from a two week tour of Texas where I ate enough queso to fill a swimming pool, I'm going to take this lesson away from the Olympics. A cheering section makes all the difference. Today, I lithed with a friend, and just being able to look at one another and smile (albeit a pained smile) helped me sink that one more inch down in wide second. Coming home and talking with my girlfriends about the ridiculous moves we did in Cinch made me feel a little more fired up and excited about signing up again.
So if you're feeling anything like I am during these last weeks of summer, maybe grab a friend to bring to the studio or demonstrate your moves for some adoring fans at home. It really does help. Baby Gabby is definitely onto something. (I knew she was a genius!)
See you in class!
Image of Lither, Sayeh Hormozi wearing Lithe via Dom