Olympic Fever

Olympic Fever has gripped the world. Or so Twitter and Facebook would have us believe. Everyone has suddenly become  an expert on all sporting activities - even the not-so-common ones, like kayaking and triple jump long jump. And suddenly everyone is on first name basis with our gold medalists ("Chad? I went to the same primary school as him 100 years ago! He was always destined to be an Olympic Gold Medalist"!!!) I might sound cynical, but I have to admit that I too have been glued to the screen watching the women's weight lifting finals, and offering my clearly expert opinion on each contestant (you would be lying if you said you never watched and pointed out how svelte those 200kg ladies looked when they tightened their kidney belts!)

No matter how much we train for the 100m sprint (read: jog three times a week), or the 100m butterfly (read: bobbing up and down in the heated indoor pool at the gym), there CAN only be one Caster, one Chad, one Cameron (yes, I am on first name basis ;)). Should the Olympic categories diversify, however, I strongly believe that we would have quite a few Gold Medalists right under our noses.

Olympic Status Updates. This includes, but is not restricted to BlackBerry Messenger Status, Face Book, Whats App, and Twitter. The competition for the Gold in this category would be fierce. (For the record, Ash, I am not talking about you ;)) I have friends who update their status's up to 15 times a day! And what's even more fun is when they link their updates to all platforms!! So every meal, mood, thought that they have is delivered to those on the receiving end no fewer than 3 times at once. Its hard to keep up! You have just processed the news that their french toast was slightly burnt this morning, when they hit you with the earth shattering news that they are stuck in a traffic jam (oddly enough, the same one they were stuck in, at the same time every other morning since they learned how to update and share!!). Before I get accused of "Pottle" (Gareth Cliff - Pot calling the Kettle Black) I admit to once being one of those frequent updaters. I have, however, lost my place on the podium, lagging far behind the leaders!

Having the Last Word Olympic Style. As a self-confessed control freak, I have trained long and hard for this Gold. My kids, however, seem to have inherited this trait from me, and have the persistence of a 'flu bug in winter (well, in my house anyway)! Every comment, request, order, directive, appeal, is met with serious negotiation. When agreement is finally reached, that parting shot delivered just as they turn the corner is as predictable as the fact that whatever I have just reached agreement with them on, will be forgotten in three seconds!! On this same point, however, I believe that I am a strong contender in The Olympic Nagging category. Its not something I enjoy doing, but am forced to do by those who will just not listen to me the first time! My sparing partners in this field include, but are not limited to, my two children, my husband, and my border collie Sasha. And they have afforded me lots of practice! Unfortunately, unless I suddenly find that elusive magic wand, I fear I will remain untouchable in this category.

The Support at School Events Category. Hands down, there would be a unanimous tie for gold in this category by most parents. And yes, I believe it should be something we as parents be rewarded for. Sitting through the whole school play (and often more than once), just to see your little one come on at the end and do her two minute number; freezing (literally) our asses off on the side of the sports field for hours (literally!), watching all those eventful relays, and sack races, and more relays, just to see your little one do his 25m sprint; manning the coloured hair spray booth at the school's Founders Day, in the wind, with every child (read: headstrong I-want-a-red-star-and-blue-and-green-striped-pattern-in-my-hair under 12 year old), being precious about what they want; forking out hundreds of rands (literally!) to support the candy floss, jumping castle, cheap-plastic-cr@p-stall at the same school event. And every year, back we go, to repeat the process, loving our kids so much that those two minute moments in the limelight make it all worth while. Without a doubt, we South African parents would hold the world record in this category!

And last but not least Olympic Procrastination. Without a doubt, categorically, unequivocally, absolutely - I would take that Gold in this event. Packing boxes to move - suddenly I have to reorganize my photo albums, bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, take the dog for a long walk, watch Good Luck Charlie (even though I have seen this particular episode a dozen times!), with my kids, write my blog.

We are so proud of all of our traditional Olympic Medalists. And as a nation we have all banded together to couch-support (read: coach and judge!), and cheer these sporting hero's on.  We own their victories as though we ourselves had physically earned them. But lets not short change ourselves. Back in the real world, in the Olympics of Life, we should own our own victories, no matter how trite, and pat ourselves on the back. I'm Just Saying...