I love the Olympics.  I’m surely not getting enough sleep this week (or next).  But, that’s why they invented coffee, right?  I’ve basically been crying nonstop ever since the Opening Ceremonies last Friday.  Even the commercials are tearjerkers.

Its sappy, its exciting, its sentimental and nostalgic.  Love it.

My only complaint is knowing what happens before hand.  I LOVE surprises, and its just not as fun to watch a swim meet knowing whose going to win.  So, I have to work to not find out what happens.  I know that this is very repetitive, and I’m by far not the first one to chime in on “Olympics in the digital age,” but oh well.  Chime.  Chime.  Chime.

Confession: I was a cheerleader.  Part of the reason I turned to cheerleading was because I could never get the hang of all the different events in gymnastics.  And, I hate chalk.  I started gymnastics when I was 6 or 7 with my best friend E.  She went on to become a level 10 gymnast (E, correct me if I’m wrong).  Level 10 is one level below Elite.  And Elite=Olympics.  So, she got better and better and I couldn’t even flip myself over the bar.  Instead, I tried show choir, tennis, swimming, and I forget what else.  I was terrible at all of them (except show choir).  And, by seventh grade, I was determined to be good at something, to do something well.  After not making the cheerleading squad at my middle school, I took “cheer lessons.”  They were more like tumbling classes, and I was determined to learn how to do a backhand spring.  For those of you that don’t know, on tumbling passes, you start off with a round-off, then you do a backhand spring afterwards to continue to move across the floor.  In the Olympics, the roundoff-backhand spring combo is the starting point for all of the other flips and twists that come next.  But, for me, my goal was the elusive backhand spring.  Learning how to tumble would give me a leg up for cheerleading tryouts the following year.

Suspense…is…building…

After a year of hard work and weekly classes, I learned how to do a backhand spring.  And, for better or worse, I was a cheerleader in 8th grade and all through high school.  The Olympics is making me reminisce about my pseudo-athletic days.  I feel strangely connected to these world class gymnasts for no reason except that I grew up wanting to be like them but couldn’t quite get there.   Instead, I learned how to to something else that remotely resembled gymnastics and didn’t have chalk.

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