Truthfully, I’m not knee deep in the middle of a massive case of the mullygrubs. For the moment, I’m okay with being single. I’m not saying I was okay yesterday and won’t take a nose dive tomorrow, but I take this adventure as a single person one day at a time. Anything more than that and I get overwhelmed and turn into a big girl. (Yes, I realize I am a girl, something that entitles me to be a girl about things.) But since I’ve never had a date on February 14, I don’t really feel like I’m missing too much. I did get my knickers in a twist earlier this week, though. And it was on behalf of single adults everywhere. Not the 20-somethings. I’m talking 30- and 40-somethings. An individual I know made a remark about being tired of singles not enjoying Valentine’s Day. All I have to say is that if you married in your 20s and have a couple of kids and an adoring husband, you have no business telling people older than you who have never had those joys to buck up and handle the holiday like it’s no big deal. Basically, unless you’ve walked a mile in our shoes, butt out. Therein lies the “Frenemy” status assigned to St. Valentine–”SAD: Singleness Awareness Day” is played out, I think.
I ended up going to bed quite early last night. No Olympics, just bed. After my last day of class for the term and dinner with the kids. Cherry, David, Yvette, Dolores, Roxy, and Valentino, to be exact. We went to BJ’s to celebrate survival of another term. We’re out of the kitchen for the next six weeks as we all get some academic courses under our belts. (I didn’t have to take Speech when I was in college so I hafta take it now. Meh.) We had a good time, though. David and I talked Olympics a lot, as the only two at the table who have been actively following the goings on. We also discussed our plans for European externships. We found out the requirements… so far I’m a lock, but he needs to buckle down just a smidgen to ensure he’s a lock to qualify as well..
I originally had plans for a classic movie marathon with LaDawn and David today, but a nasty case of stomach flu thwarted said plans. As such, the only thing on my agenda for the day was to take Liz to the airport for a quick flight home to New York. We got her there with plenty of time to spare. I then ran by a local furniture store because I’m in the market for a dresser or mule chest (it’s a real thing, I promise). I’m an Arts & Crafts kind of girl and the store is running a sale on Stickley pieces. And yes, I love Stickley furniture! I found the pieces I’m interested in and need to do some measurements to see which will suit, then I can adjust my finances to make it work. That means more place to put sweaters, pajamas, jeans, and unmentionables (this word still makes me smile!). After that, I headed home to watch last night’s Olympics.
Oh. My. Goodness. The craziness. The drama. Wow! I loved every minute of it!
I’ve never been a fan of Evgeni Plushenko, but I was disappointed to see him withdraw. Moreover, I was disappointed for him that he had to drop out. And having been through back surgery myself and choosing not to pursue an artificial disc replacement surgery, I fully appreciate that while he was on two feet, he knew he wouldn’t be able to complete the jumps. His body’s response to an attempted jump in the warm-up said it all for me. I’ve seen that look before. On my own face looking back at me in a mirror. But here’s the thing, I never want to see someone withdraw from competition due to injury. No way. I may not be a fan, but that means I just root against you in the competition. Don’t get me wrong, either… he’s a fantastic athlete, competitor, and figure skater. I respect his abilities immensely. I just root against him. To see his professional career end thusly is never something I would hope for him. Especially in his home town, if you will. I’d rather see a great athlete go out on top. Especially when he’s capable of doing so. He skated brilliantly in the team competition and it may have cost him the chance at gold in the individual competition.
Then, as if that wasn’t enough drama for one night in figure skating, American Jeremy Abbott took the hardest fall I’ve ever seen in individual competition (I’ve seen some crazy falls in pairs skating). He went up in the air and didn’t land well. When he hit the ice, his skates caught and he ricocheted into the ice. His right hip crashed down first. Imagine slamming your pelvis into pavement. Yeah. That’s essentially what he did. But it didn’t end there. He bounced and then crashed into the wall. He lay still clutching his hip for a few seconds and then rolled onto his left side, breathing hard and continuing to clutch his hip. All the while, the rink became quiet as his music continued playing, the crowd watching to see if Jeremy was okay. First his right arm came up and rested against the wall. Then he pulled himself up and did the unthinkable. As he got to his feet, the crowd cheered wildly. His response? In obvious pain, he resumed his routine. He even landed a beautiful triple-triple combination. When he concluded his performance, all hopes of a medal completely dashed, the audience shot to its feet and cheered like he was one of their own. You could see him holding back the tears for all he was worth. If I were him, I would’ve been bawling like a baby. Who am I kidding? I was bawling like a baby. From my couch. I think once he made the decision to resume the routine, the audience willed him home. They were with him every step of the way, cheering him on. So maybe one of the other skaters finally broke the 100 point mark later in the competition. So? I think the biggest and greatest hero on that ice was Jeremy Abbott. He courageously found his feet and finished with his head held high. Mr. Abbott, you’ll probably never read this, but I think you should consider this the proudest moment of your career. On the international stage with the eyes of the world on you, you epitomized the best spirit of an athlete and the heart of a competitor.
Now, as if all of that wasn’t enough, I caught Jimmy Roberts’ story in the wrap-up last night on NBC and it was so wonderful. In one of the cross country events, a Russian skier went down in a crash. He got back up and then crashed again when his ski broke. Did he quit? Nope. He got up again and began hobbling forward, broken ski in tow. Out of nowhere comes this guy with a ski and helps the Russion switch out equipment to continue on. Who was the good samaritan? A Canadian Olympic coach. Yup, you read that correctly. It seems in a prior Olympics, his wife was competing and broke a pole. She was struggling forward when an Olympic coach from Norway ran onto the course to give her a pole. Canada ended up finishing second and Norway finished fourth. But it was in the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship that the coach was compelled to assist a struggling competitor. And in that same spirit of fair play and sportsmanship, her husband couldn’t sit by and not pass it forward. The Russian skier finished last, lampooned by his own equipment, but he finished with his head held high to the roar of his countrymen cheering him on. A feat made possible by a Canadian coach who said he couldn’t bear to watch the skier struggling to achieve the impossible. His spirit was willing, but his equipment was weak. So, the coach provided equipment equal to the skier’s heart where this task was concerned. Better yet, this type of thing is entirely legal. Jimmy noted in another race earlier in the season, a skier had a diabetic attack and a German coach ran onto the course with sports drink to assist the skier. What a lifesaver, literally. There are things far more important than winning.
What can I say? I’m a total sucker for these great stories of the Olympics. For me, not much beats the triumph of the human spirit. Wow.
I’m also trying to get more comfortable with the idea that I’ll be starting work on Tuesday with a job that I’m not exactly sure about. There are a variety of reasons that I won’t go into (they’re boring and confusing if you don’t work in my industry), but this is the first time in my life I’m approaching a job with trepidation and questioning whether or not I should’ve accepted the offer. At least I’m not married to it. If I get into it and confirm we don’t suit each other, that it’s not a mutually beneficial relationship, I can always continue looking for other positions. I’m not locked in. There is some comfort in that knowledge.
I’m hoping to get to bed at a decent hour tonight as I’m contemplating a field trip tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. Obviously, if I do go on a field trip, I’ll tell you all about it!
Ohmigoodness! I just watched Jeremy Abbott’s long program and after the horrific crash and courageous skate yesterday, he skated brilliantly this evening. Fluid, gorgeous, and wonderful. And you could see the triumph on his face when he was done. The icing on the cake? He scored a personal best. Well done, Mr. Abbott. Well. Done.
Alrighty, friends… For now, have a great evening. And watch the Olympics!