Thursday, February 18, 2010

Edge of Joy

Crash and burn.

The world winces, knowing it hurts, realizing it's a dream slipping through fingers.

Watching the Olympics and seeing so many athletes hit a gate, lose their balance, catch an edge - all leading to an irrecoverable run or routine, I wondered how they could get up and keep going.

In the case of Anja Paerson of Sweden, the horrific downhill crash on a course that sent five competitors tumbling, commentators considered her questionable for the rest of the Olympics. But Paerson was back in the starting gate, facing the same hill she'd crashed down and this time she took the bronze medal despite the lingering pains and contusions Whistler had left on her body.

Fall, recover, keep going. Repeat. It's the way of these games.Crazy? Maybe. But I really think it's about love. When I watched skiiers and skaters crash only to return to the very site of the disaster, asking myself: How can they go on? I decided it's not because of duty or obligation, it's because their sport is what they truly love. They have to do it, not for any of us who are watching, but for themselves.

Any challenge worth the blood, the sweat, the tears requires passion for the work at hand. It's why we'll do anything to pursue our dreams. And it's why when we're beaten and bruised, holding only hope in our hands, we'll stand at the gates of fate and beg for more.


  1. The joy of victory and the agony of defeat... But, you're right. It's more than that. I can't watch the crashes. They break my heart, cuz you know it's so much more than their physical bodies that feel it.

    Kind of like writing, huh. You gotta crash and burn a few times before taking home the gold. =)

  2. Oh, it's painful to watch. I especially find it agonizing to see skaters go down. Amazingly, they pick themselves up and skate on to the next scary jump. There's a lesson in there, but it's a hard won lesson.

  3. It's funny, I'm not an athlete in any way, shape, or form. However, I always find myself tearing up when watching the Olympics or even a high school basketball game or something ... and I could never quite figure out why. Your post made me realize what it was that brought out emotions in me. Thank you : )