Sunday, August 17, 2008

Olympic Lessons in Age

For the last week, I have been addicted to the 2008 Olympics. I can hardly tear myself away from the television. In fact for two Saturdays in a row, I haven't torn myself away. I've sat in the house for hours on end... watching. I'm not embarrassed to admit it either. The lessons of the Olympics are many and are profound. But my favorite so far is the age lesson.

"Don't put an age limit on your dreams." Dara Torres

Torres is 41. In her fifth Olympic appearance, she placed 2nd in her only individual event, winning a silver medal behind a 16-year-old German swimmer. Her teammate Jason Lezak is 32. He is the oldest guy on the team and TWICE swam the last leg of a relay, helping young Michael Phelps win his record-breaking eight gold medals.

But Torres and Lezak aren't the oldest Americans in this year's summer Olympics. Sailor John Dane has made his first U.S. Olympic Team at the age of 58. Libby Callahan of shooting will be the oldest U.S. female Olympian all-time, at the age of 56. And topping out all of the Olympics is Hiroshi Hiketsu, an equestrian rider from Japan, who is 67.

Last night, I watched a 38-year-old woman win the Olympic marathon and tonight a 35-year-old gymnast won the bronze medal in the women's vault. So the lessons continue. The reminders are daily.

You don't have to give up on your dreams simply because you are past the age that society prescribes as ideal. With commitment and dedication, you can do anything. No matter how old you are...

The Truth of the Matter

Some people say that there are two sides to a story: your side and everything else. Others say there are three sides: your side, my side and the truth. But I believe that in the end, there is only one real truth to every story.

When we share an experience or a belief with others, we tell it from the perspective of the heart and the depths of our emotions. Our feelings are real. Our beliefs are strong. Our personal truth is powerful. But sometimes it's incomplete.

I don't think we always intentionally leave parts out. It is nearly impossible to recount, second by second, the events of our lives. But we do omit details and those details help compete the whole of the truth.

In fact, I am consciously leaving out bits and pieces in this blog. There are stories behind this story that helped me come to this conclusion. I've recently heard through the grapevine that others are trying to make me out to be someone that I'm not. But I don't think it would be fair to air it our for all to read when I have no intention of airing it out with the people involved.

The truth of the matter is that you believe what you believe. And so do I. But there is only one truth in the end. Just one. It consists of your story and my story and all the details we've left out when we've recounted it all to others.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

40 Years of Sports

This morning, over breakfast, I had the pleasure of listening to a conversation between my parents. They were discussing the Cardinals. My mom is concerned about the longevity of the bullpen and questions some of the recent coaching decisions. My dad, a true pessimist, is convinced that ownership is throwing this season away.

My parents have been married for forty years. A feat greater than anything sports-related in this time of 24 hour Dominican divorces... But, much of their lives has involved sports. They were both athletes growing up. Mom taught me how to play basketball and use to play catch with me. Dad played football and baseball. When they first got married, they had season tickets for hockey and football. Now, they share my season tickets for baseball.

(Yes, it is from them that I've inherited my passion for sports.)

My parents were talking sports this morning. I love that. And I want that. I want to talk sports over eggs and juice with my man. It has worked for my mom for forty years. Why can't it work for me?