Monday, March 8, 2010


Olympic Addict Withdrawal

I do not watch much tv. In fact, since we arrived here in Japan I’ve hardly watched tv at all because I have a handicap – they’re called remote controls. When Jeff called me from work the morning of the Super Bowl to program the DVR I just started laughing – and said “you’ve got to be kidding, I don’t even know how to turn on the tv.” After patiently trying to guide me over the phone on which button to press … “first pick up the remote with the red button, now pick up the remote with the blue button …” – it didn’t end well. I had to call my neighbor and have her program it for me.

Once every 4 years I become a total couch potato and plant myself in front of the tv for 14 glorious days and absorb the Olympics. I cannot, it seems, get enough of watching these athletes give it their all and work for something the rest of us can only dream about. What is it that draws me to this event like the addict who needs their next fix? My daughter and I laughed over the fact that normally I have the attention span of a gnat when I watch tv but when it comes to the Olympics I am completely and utterly glued to the screen. We decided that the Olympics are the perfect sports venue for people with ADD. Bored with one sport? Well no worries, in about 17 minutes a new one will be on (NBC even tells you that in a little window at the bottom of the screen). I can rarely sit through a televised football or lacrosse game – even though I actually enjoy watching both of these sports. But when it comes to the Olympics I’ve watched it all – yes, even the curling. And I question why? What is it that makes me rearrange my schedule so that I can have the luxury of watching marathon coverage? What is it that finally got me past the avoidance of using multiple remote controls? Yes, much to Jeff’s utter astonishment, I now know how to not only turn the tv on but also program the DVR AND delete programs to make room for more Olympics. Amazing what you can do when you want something …

For me I believe it is the numerous virtues that these athletes display that for 14 days kept me coming back for more. Who could fail to be inspired by Bode Miller overcoming the disappointment of the Torino Olympics to win three medals, Lindsey Vonn pushing through her pain, J.R. Celski who only 5 months ago suffered a severe injury to his left leg in a crash, Evan Lysacek’s incredible work ethic that shows nice guys can win, Johnny Spillane ends an 86 year American drought and Steve Holcomb getting past his degenerative eye disease to steer the Night Train to an Olympic gold. I could go on and on … they inspire me with their perseverance, determination, courage to face fears or disappointments and the willingness to start a journey with only a dream.

But there was one athlete that I loved watching the most – I have come to love his sport and the way he carries himself in interviews – Apolo Ohno. His story is interesting to me, he’s been up and been down and yet he’s found a way to keep coming back and giving it his all on the ice. In one interview I saw when talking about coming back after taking time off and coming back even stronger than before Apolo Ohno said (and I paraphrase here because my DVR deleted this segment) “You have to ask yourself at the end of the day – did I do my best today? Did I give it my all?”

And so, I’ve had a thought percolating for months – an idea to create a blog that for 1000 days I will make an entry about something that inspires me or something creative I’m working on. This is a bit scary for me - a 1000 days doing something totally optional is well, quite a commitment. But what I realized watching these athletes is that, it's all scary - putting yourself out there, making a commitment and not knowing where something may lead. But what you may lose by not following through on an idea or a dream could be even bigger. And so, follow me if you will - inspiration could be a beautiful flower I saw that day or a quote I read or musings or art … I do not know where it will lead because it is a journey with no destination and no purpose other than for 1000 days to seek out and be inspired - all I know is that at the end of my day, I want to be able to look back and say that whatever I pursued for that day I did give it my all. Visit

Till next time, sayonara.

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