I am watching the Olympics and like most people, I am just amazed at the athletic ability of those I witness performing at the highest level in their sport. Bulging biceps, lean torsos, incredible strides, amazing flexibility and speed, these bodies are perfect specimens of the human race. Perfect human form.
But my favorite part of the Olympics is the emotions displayed, especially those of remembrance or gratitude. Take Felix Sanchez for example. He ran the men’s 400 with a photo of he and his grandmother, who passed away in 2008 pinned beneath his race bib. After he won gold, Sanchez pulled out that picture, placed it down on the track, knelt and kissed the image of the woman who raised him. That is my favorite part of the Olympics, gratitude and heartfelt emotion. I can admire an athletic body, but it is the soul that captures my heart.
C.S. Lewis once wrote “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” I have a body alright and compared to those I see on TV it is in pretty bad shape. My body has been through a war in the past four years and I have the scars to show it. Despite my four half marathon accomplishments since my diagnosis in 2009, today I can barely walk across a parking lot without gasping for air. My favorite thing of all to do, sing along to the radio, is about as easy for me right now as the Olympic uneven bars. Today while waiting for my daughter at the doctors office I was eying up one elderly gentleman’s oxygen tank, comparing it to mine and thinking his had way cooler features. Yes, scoping oxygen tanks and scooters is my new hobby.
But that is just my body. And while it may not be winning me any gold medals currently, I am neither sad nor angry. My soul lives on, strong and happy and healthy. I smile most of the time. I have long talks with my kids and my husband, and I feel and appreciate every ounce of love coming to me from so many other great souls. Daily, I am overcome with gratefulness and thankfulness for the many blessings of my life, for my family and for friends both old and new who are making such a beautiful difference for me right now with their love. Angels are among me, and with them I sing and dance, in my heart, without a care about oxygen, or lack there of. My soul is alive and well and I am ready for the challenges before me. I can see a door opening in front of me to all of the love and energy of the world and of the universe, my medal stand perhaps.
Know this, after my race ends, I will pull from my bib a photo of everyone who gave of themselves for me and for my family, and I will kneel and kiss it. And I will be happy and grateful for all I have been blessed to know and love in this world. And that is my favorite part of living.