Tuesday, October 15, 2013

the one where i don't go to the Olympics

When I was little, Shannon Miller was an icon. Gravity defying flips, incredible balance, and a killer floor routine totally proved why she was a multiple-medal Olympian. After watching her get yet another gold medal, I realized I had found my calling.

I was going to be an Olympic gymnast.

After hours of watching athlete after athlete compete, I felt fairly confident in my ability to rock this. I was destined for greatness, and crafting a floor routine to Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia" was going to make it a reality. There was just one hiccup.

I couldn't do a cartwheel, let alone some crazy combination of flips, jumps, and tucks. I got motion sickness from swinging a little to high, so the uneven bars were going to be difficult. But what I lacked in actual skill or coordination I fully compensated for with my charisma. 

Because it's not talent that wins medals. Charisma goes for the gold.

And so I practiced. I practiced at home. I practiced in the front yard. But my very favorite place to practice was the grocery store. 

I'd purposely linger in empty aisles, and when the coast was clear I'd get on my tip toes, run as hard as I could down the aisle, flailing my arms around to mimick how AWESOME  my flips would be, and then the big finish. I'd always stick my landing, making sure to present my outstretched V arms to the imaginary judges.

It wasn't until I was much older that I realized that there were security cameras in grocery stores. And that all of my classic Olympian moves were most likely captured on film.

Nailed it.


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