You guys? It’s time we all faced the facts. I am apparently not going to be an Olympic gymnast. I checked and double-checked, and it appears that a) I am not currently in London and b) my name is not listed as a member of the US Women’s Gymnastics team.
This comes as a great disappointment to me, as I have dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast ever since I watched Shannon Miller in the ‘92 Olympics and thought to myself, “Hey! We have the same last name!” Despite the fact that she was short, fit and able to flip in the air and I was tall, slightly lumpier in a leotard and had only gone airborne by sheer accident, I believed in my dream. And despite overwhelming reasons not to, I’ve held onto that dream for twenty years.
Sure, maybe I can’t do all the… gymnastics… that the gymnasts do, but I’m right up there in the other categories of being an Olympic gymnast. I kill at the Tom-Cruise-Ghost-Protocol-run required in vault and floor exercises. I can wear makeup that is simultaneously too old (blue eye shadow) and too young (sparkles on your face) for me. I own metal hair barrettes. And I can tearfully hug big Russian men with my eyes closed. I got this!!
But no. It’s not meant to be. While Nastia Liukin and I have not discussed this directly, I know I speak for both of us when I say it breaks our hearts that we will never again and never, respectively, represent the United States in the Olympics. This means no hometown parades, no cereal box covers, no contracts with Nike, or even with Reebok. I could get behind Reebok. Mall-walkers and tourists need sneakers, too.
Some might say that I “aged out” of being an Olympic hopeful. And the person that person was talking to would probably retort, “But more to the point, she never had any athletic ability that would ever support the wildly off-base concept that she would be an Olympian in any sport, let alone gymnastics.” To those people I say, “Those are true facts.”
But should true facts get in the way of dreams? Or have we raised our children to believe that dreams can jump over, around and through true facts, just as I wish I could jump over, around and through the Vault for the 2012 Women’s Gymnastics team? (Note: I know that the last two of these three stunts would earn me no points at the Olympics). I guess true facts win over dreams. Congratulations, science.
So, as I sit on my couch for the next two weeks, watching women more talented than I do my Olympic bidding for me, I say to them “Good luck! Win the Gold! And wipe that crap off your face, you look ridiculous!”
(Photo: USA Gym)