Who’s watching the Summer Olympics? And who’s been inspired to workout extra hard in the gym? Yeah, me neither. Instead of being motivated to put in some extra time on the treadmill, I’m glued to my couch, biting my nails, and yelling at the television watching Team USA compete in events I already know the outcome of. I should want to run, tumble, jump, swim, shoot free throws, swim, throw stuff (my understanding of half of track and field events is that they just throw stuff, right?), row, fence, and shoot things (ok, I always kinda want to shoot things)! Instead I want to sit on my couch and eat fish and chips (the Olympics are in London after all). So what’s the deal?
Common sense dictates that being bombarded with coverage of the world’s best athletes should be a huge motivator. Like look at what amazing things the human body is capable of when you give 100%. And shouldn’t watching beach volleyball ever so slightly remind me that I have a long way to go before I would be willing to bump, set, and spike in a bikini? Well I think I may have figured it out.
First of all, I love America. I’m like super patriotic. I love this country sooooooo much, how could anyone expect me to miss a second of primetime Olympic coverage. Watching the chiseled torsos of the US men’s swim team is my duty as an American citizen. Do you think I enjoy sacrificing an hour in the weight room just to watch Ryan Lochte? I don’t, but as Americans, every once and a while we have to put our country before our own needs. America needs me right now, and who am I not answer the call?
Have you ever watched an episode of “Top Chef”, or really any cooking show, only to examine your own kitchen prowess and feel like a bit of a dope? Mayhaps that’s what’s going on here? Like how can I look at someone like Lolo Jones all day and then be impressed with my own thirty minutes of cardio? Or can I really celebrate increasing my bicep curl weight by 2.5 pounds after learning Holley Mangold only got into competitive weight lifting a couple years ago (after excelling in football and track and field BTW) and is already in the Olympics? I can’t, help me.
Now lets factor in the anxiety factor. Swimming and track races have always inspired a bit of anxiety for me, and I vividly remember almost fainting when Kerri Strug struck the landing on a broken tibia or whatever in 1996, but I’m slightly worried gymnastics will do me in this time around. Its amazing how close I get to a full on anxiety attack watching events I already know the outcome of, it really speaks volumes about how emotionally invested I am in other people’s success. Between the ups (the ladies) and the downs (the poor dudes, every darn country dropping like flies) it’s been quite the emotional roller coaster. It’s not even just Team USA, when the wheels feel off the Russian women’s team the other day/night I came pretty close to a breakdown. And nothing works better than ice cream (or nachos, or cheesecake, or a cheeseburger, or Girl Scout cookies) to bring one back from the brink of a breakdown, so its been an exercise in willpower not to self medicate. Ok well maybe I have self medicated a tad, but I honestly think a glass or two of wine is the only thing that will keep me from having a heart attack.
But it’s ok, right? I mean no one’s health ever went down the tubes because they took some time off to watch dressage, right? So maybe a week sick with Olympic fever isn’t too terrible, as long as I get it under control by next week. I’m thinking the track and field events might be a tad more motivating to get me into the gym? Or maybe I can even come up with some Olympic inspired workouts that I can convince myself even Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor would approve of? Or maybe you guys can have some advice to break the stranglehold the Summer Olympics has on my life right now? I’m all ears, and please help soon, before I’m all thighs and bum.