Our summer trip is done. Seth is preparing for another semester. I'm cleaning out dressers and sorting clothes. We need to flip our mattress. All the signs are there - it's the beginning of a new year.
However, I'm running about 5 days behind on my new year duties due to this little thing that happens every 2 years or so - the Olympics. I'm completely, totally, utterly, and absolutely obsessed. The television goes on the minute I wake up, where one channel of Olympic coverage has already started recording. I catch up on events from the night before and then prepare for the main coverage to begin. I've watched handball for the first time and was surprised there was no wall (just ask any New Yorker and they'll explain what I mean), and marveled at the speed of those table tennis masters. Will and I cheered on the US archers and celebrated with Kayla Harrison when she became the first American to win a gold medal in Judo.
I have always been fascinated by the Olympics. During the Barcelona games, I literally lived in my living room for 2 weeks, glued to the television. I would stay up late during the Albertville and Lillehammer games, finishing my homework while cheering on the USA athletes. In the summer, I would pretend I was a gymnast and use the side of my pool as a balance beam. If I believed in past lives, I would swear that I was an Olympian.
I have great respect for those that push themselves past their limits to experience something amazing. Years of training culminating in an experience of only a few minutes or even seconds. That moment of greatness is why I run. I may not be competing in the Olympics but each run, each race, is an opportunity to be great. These Olympics and it's amazing athletes are inspiring me to be the best runner I can - regardless if I ever stand on a medal podium or not.