Somehow I've turned into a sports enthusiast. I'm not a fan of any one sport in particular, but I watch whatever is on with interest and excitement. How did this happen? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I'm pretty sure I can blame My Love, who knows just about everything there is to know about most sports out there. He can enjoy a football game or a round of golf just the same. I used to think this was crazy. Now I kind of understand it.
I spent much of my non-writing time this weekend watching the Olympic trials and Wimbledon. There's a lot to learn watching sports like swimming, track and field and tennis--and I'm not just talking about how to score a tennis match, which I think I'm finally getting the hang of. Life lessons abound when you watch athletes pursue their sports with passion. Here are a few of the things I took away from this weekend of competitions:
- Be a good sport. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fought long and hard for the Wimbledon championship, making the record for the longest tennis match in history. And when Nadal finally made that championship point and took the title, he actually thanked his competitor and said, "I am very happy for me, but sorry for him, because he deserved this title, too." Federer, while disappointed, took the loss with grace and style, praising Nadal for his excellent play.
- Don't let an injury discourage you. Sprinter Tyson Gay was all set to make the Olympic team for the 100 and 200 meter races, but after qualifying for the Olympics in the 100 meter race, things changed. Within seconds of starting the 200 meter qualifier, Gay was on the ground writhing in pain. He apparently pulled a muscle and, because of the one-chance nature of the Olympic trials, the favorite sprinter and world champion lost his opportunity to compete for two Olympic metals. You wouldn't know it from listening to him, though. He was all smiles in an interview today and was looking forward to Beijing without any regrets or complaints.
- Age means nothing. Going into the Olympic trials this weekend, 41-year-old Dara Torres knew that if she won her races, she would be the oldest American swimmer to ever compete on the Olympic swim team. But she didn't let that keep her from trying. Torres has been to the Olympics four times, and Beijing will be her fifth. Until this weekend, she hadn't competed since the 2000 Olympics and yet she won the 100-meter freestyle and set the American record for the 50-meter freestyle. How's that for acting your age?