February 12, 2006

Life Update and Olympics Chatter

During my current state of January-through-springtime blues, I decided I should take certain steps to make myself feel better. So far, so good.

I somehow mustered enough motivation to join a gym and start working out. Mind you, at the time I signed up, I was pretty well convinced that this was NOT going to help my mood, NOT going to give me any more energy and certainly NOT going to whip me back into viewable shape. After one month, I am happy to report that I was wrong – no matter how much I tried to hold onto the fat and the blues, this new routine has now set in pretty nicely and try as I might to fight it, when I come home from working out, damned if I don’t feel better!

I’m not sure of any real weight- or inch-loss progress as yet, though I seem to notice a slight difference in the way certain clothes fit. I’ll keep you posted when I get measured and weighed again.

Another attempt to chase away the funk was to redecorate our living room – top to bottom. It’s amazing what new furnishings, fresh paint (especially when it’s done by someone else), and new window treatments can do. It’s still not completely finished, but the newness of it all, so far, has really lifted my spirits.

A third attempt and perhaps the most trying for me, has been to sit down and force myself to write something new every day. None of this material has been blog-worthy, trust me. Much of what I’ve written in the past month has been deleted almost immediately – a practice I’m usually dead-set against. It’s all good though … it has given me some ideas that can be bored-and-stroked (gear head talk) for future posting.

Now, with the Olympics in full swing, I will have something to watch other than perfect looking people on television either getting laid or complaining about not getting laid. Well … ‘tis true, isn’t it? That is what most sitcoms come down to – bottom line.

Watching the Olympics is a sport in itself. They should pass out medals for this activity. I’ve learned to sprint, full-out, from my couch to the bathroom or kitchen in between events … just so I don’t miss out on some history-making moment. My adrenaline races as I imagine someone going head first into a wall – even though this rarely happens. My brain gets a workout trying to recall past participants as Ed and I discuss who was better than “this” or “that one.”

It has also occurred to me that there are several phrases we will hear over and over again during the games – some worth mentioning here. Perhaps the most popular phrases we can count on during the Olympics are:

“I’ve been doing this since I was two” – as stated by just about every participating athlete.

“I’m just happy to be here, winning would just be a bonus” – as fibbed by just about every participating athlete.

“I’m hoping to set a record” – as stated by MANY participating athletes.

“If not for my (insert relative) who died in (insert year), I wouldn’t even be here today” – as stated by SOMEONE during EVERY Olympics I’ve ever watched.

“I have my own definition of winning … this system is all corrupt anyway” – as stated by someone who will remain nameless so I don’t get sued.

In my living room, there are also several phrases which get repeated throughout the games. Some of these are:

“Yeah, let me guess … you’ve been doing this since you were in diapers” – as stated by any one of us sofa spectators.

“Mm…hm. It’s not about the gold, it’s just about the game. But of course … who really wants the gold?” – as stated quite sarcastically by a certain male in the house.

“Nice fall … talk about hanging your partner out to dry” - as stated by any one of us in the room.

“Ohhh good! Is this the event where you could die if you make one wrong move?” – as stated by a young goddess in training.

“Oh yeah, they lost, I saw it on the news earlier” – as stated by same young goddess who likes to reveal the end of movies before we get to see them.

And perhaps the single most popular statement one might hear in our living room while watching the Olympics …

“You know, I could do that if I were an entirely different type of person” - as stated by a Hag of much Weariness.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a great admiration for the young men and women who dare to compete in such a stressful and mind-blowing event as the Olympics. I really do. It always amazes me to realize there are such strong, seemingly fearless young people throughout the world who are willing to put their entire ‘normal’ lives on hold to compete with the best of the best.

I just think one more medal should be issued in each event. A prize should be awarded to the person with the most obstacles. I say this because for some reason, the media seems to feel that we all need to know JUST how many injuries, how much strife and how much sadness these people have had to endure before arriving at the Olympics. If we are going to learn about all these obstacles, I think the least they could do is award a prize for them.

I’m glad the Olympics are on this year … it has really given me a point of focus for the next couple of weeks. I just wish I wasn’t watching yesterday’s events. I like it better when they’re held somewhere within three-hours or so of my time zone.

In closing, I have two questions? Curling. If you participate in this event … are you a Curlist or a Curler? And who the heck named it “Curling?”


Blogger madcapmum said...

G'morning, Carole!

Glad to see you're up and posting again. Spring's a-cummin in, yes indeed. Congrats on your gymming, and the heck with the Olympics - I've got more admiration for someone like you who moves regularly in spite of it all than for someone who gets high off it and just can't stop! Geez, that's simply addiction, sad, sad.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Tabor said...

I do like the Olympics even though I am not a big sports fan in general. I am addicted to the 'overcoming significant hardships' stories. I was a little disappointed in the opening ceremonies as I was hoping the Italians would have better style...those costumes and some of that dancing---?? But Pavarotti came to the rescue and his voice was still phenomenal in spite of his age and dyed hair.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Don said...

As ever when reading your posts, I'm aware of the rhythm of your prose. It has it's own music. And I have to confess, in my own modest attempts at writing, I attempt to emulate you... so far unsuccessfully. Perhaps your musical ability comes in handy here.

You ask what the participants in the sport of Curling are called? I'm sure it's 'compulsive obsessives'. Not since my mother was young have I seen anyone sweep a seemingly squeaky clean surface with such vigour. I suspect the top women in the sport have virtually invisible spots of dust sprinkled on the ice when it's their turn, thus giving them the necessary motivation to turn the slippiest of ice into the most frictionless surface in the Universe. It's a thought anyway.

I'm always glad to hear you Americans complain about time zones when watching world sport. It usually means I can watch the same live transmissions comfortably.

Nice post dude.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Glad your back Carol! I don't play the Curling game, but would love to learn it....

The Olympic games are always interesting but I don't care for the big stink over the use of steroids or other items... It takes a bit away from the games I think...

12:33 PM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

Allright already! Geez! Get off my back! I'll join a gym! (No, I don't have a guilty conscience.)

I usually moan when I know the olympics are coming, but then I end up watching them because, lets face it, you are right about the crap that's on. Then I miss the olympics when they're gone.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Rob Seifert said...

Ah my dear, I too get the blues this time of year. I'm just not as willing to run off and excercise, and it shows! ;-) I too have been unable to come up with anything blogable and, until recently, have even been unable to muster the energy and focus to read much. All things in their season I suppose, for now I'm hibernating but I suppose we'll have to see what tomorrow brings.


3:16 PM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

I love the winter Olympics. Yesterday I was fortunate to catch Jennifer Heil win Canada's first gold metal in the woman's moguls. I was bursting with pride... even though I, myself, can not ski a foot. :-)

4:57 PM  
Blogger Don said...

I thought you might be interested to hear of one of the UK's most celebrated Winter Olympic Sportsmen: Eddie the Eagle.

In 1987 and 1988 he represented Great Britain in the World Championships and the Winter Olympics respectively.

Eddie was crap. A no-hoper. But nevertheless, he persisted, and the public loved him for it.

You'll find some details of him at this site: http://www.nyt.co.uk/eddiethe.htm

This is a reminder to the cynical amongst you who scoff at the ideal that it's the taking part that matters. It doesn't take great intelligence to realise that the majority of participants in the Olympic games know full well they have no chance. Yet year after year, the national teams grow larger and larger. And people travel across the globe simply to watch them. If it's so attractive to view, how much greater is it to take part?

4:59 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I'd love to share a bottle of wine and talk Olympics with you (provided you don't make me work out afterward). We clearly share minds about your sporting partner letting you down . . . I love that I'm not the only twisted one. ;)

5:13 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Great to see you back Carol!

So the gym is a good thing? I always thought it was like P.E. class. People keep trying to get me to join a gym. Maybe I should. Who knows?

Olympians are an interesting bunch. And we all like to sit and watch their stories and watch them compete. And wonder what it takes to push onesself to such heights. I know I never wanted to be an Olympic athlete.

6:25 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

I've watched a little of the Olympics but missed the opening because of all the arranging and unpacking in preparation for my Mom's move (into this apartment) this coming Thursday.

We have curling teams around here and call team members "curlers" but I don't know if that is correct.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

glad you're back!!! so many of my favorites are on a winter hiatus.

I can't say that I've watched the Olympics... So far, I'm elated that nothing untoward has happened to the participants and on-site spectators in Italy.

(wtg on the gym!)

6:53 PM  
Anonymous dulciana said...

We joined a gym recently, but I have not been nearly as dedicated to it as it seems you are. You have my admiration! Glad to see you posting!

7:36 PM  
Blogger vtpats said...

"Curling gets it's name from the obsolete verb 'to curr' which means 'to grumble'. It's a reference to the low-pitched rumbling sound a stone makes as it slides across the ice. Both Scotland and Continental Europe claim to have originated the game. Early references are few."


12:51 PM  
Blogger J said...

“You know, I could do that if I were an entirely different type of person”

I have this thought more often than I'd like to admit. About all kinds of things. What does it signify?

Just reading about your gym experiences has inspired me to go out and walk the dog at a faster pace than usual! My pitiful exercise regimen is sad, because I have always been well aware that I enjoy it and it makes me feel better. You at least had the excuse of ignorance!

4:07 PM  
Blogger oregoncelticlady said...

So, so glad to see you back! The gym has big pay-offs!

5:54 PM  
Blogger Floridacracker said...

Glad to see you're posting again.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I have my own definition of winning: Weary going for the gold! A badge of courage to you girl, for saying what you feel and saying it so well!

Curling? It's what I do to my hair each morning. I didn't know they were giving medals for that. I'm going to have the start watching the Olympics...better late than never. I'm going to nominate myself too because I've been "curling" since I've been 12 and I'm now 58. 365 times 58...oh never mind. I've never been good at math or exercising for that matter.
Welcome back! Colleen and I were just saying how much we've both missed you.

10:01 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Missed you, Carol, and happy to see you return. Try not to be gone so long, huh?

I watch as much as I can, particularly ice skating. I do get annoyed at the banter of the announcers....LOL.

Keep at it in the gym. Last time I went regularly to exercise, I opnly lost 5 pounds, but I lost 2 dress sizes. It really shifts around in a good way!
Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweetie.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, you're back! Thank goodness, i feel like a stalker, i come over here every week checking to see if you're here!
Glad you're doing well :)

2:21 AM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

Glad you are posting again. I have really missed you.
I just don't get curling. And I'm Canadian. I think it was invented to allow women and men to scream and grunt things like "Hurry, hard" and "Sweep,no,Sweep,no.."
The exercise thing seems like a good idea. Maybe it would help me out of the slump I'm in as well..

9:02 AM  
Blogger frustratedwriter said...

Oh happy day! You have returned! Glad you are working out, watching Olympics, but most of all, that you are blogging!

In the South you would be known as the stone hurler, or something manly like that and we sure wouldn't call this sport curling, we would call it something manly like stone sliding, or boulder chunking...

10:05 AM  
Blogger dan said...

when you first start exercising after a long lay-off, that fat just tend to move itself to different places to start with.

at least that's what i found.

keep it up. it's worth it.

5:48 AM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...

Didn't know you were gone...what does that say about me? I was on the road again. Just saw reruns of the Chinese Girl busting her buns on the news....THAT IS NOT FUN. Who came up with the backward sled? I want to be up front with handles. Glad your winter is almost over...I was up north for the last snowstorm..Why does it break records when I'm there? LOL

8:36 AM  
Blogger sands of time said...

I believe they refer to them as curlers

10:37 AM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Glad to see you've posted again!

I'm watching the Olympics, too. Nice summary of sports cliches, Weariness.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

And congrats on starting a fitness regimine.

7:49 PM  
Blogger jon said...

Seems like you'd here more guys arguing about who has to take the bottom on the two man louge thingy.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

I'm still trying to figure out what curling is. I've seen the word on several blogs. I probably could google it and find out, but I sort of prefer what my imagination comes up with.

Yes, Weary the light is returning. All is well.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My idea of a winter sport is eating DQ Blizzards; curling is lifting the spoon to my mouth. :)

6:59 AM  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...

This was a delightful read; especially the couch chatter!

We Estonians were very upset with this year's parade; announcer chat about Denmark trumped the Estonian team's entrance, and we barely saw them.

This upsets the small, proud nation.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Bill Jones, Jr said...

As much as getting shape, I go to the gym because the endorphins that are produce enhance my mood.

I'm having trouble caring about the Olympics for some reason. I think it's because it's now just another pro event. Just once I want to hear and interviewee say "I'm here because my mom made me practice 4 hours a day, and I never got to have a life. I hate you mom!"

Hey, at least it would be interesting.

12:36 PM  
Blogger L said...

the daily writing thing is difficult (that's why I started a blog in the first place).

7:33 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

so funny, i am off my chair right now...
(n ya i wud remember to tune in to the olympics tonite - seems like entertainment for sure...)

4:58 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Crap. I forgot to add a comment when I first read this. But I suppose I can let you know, many days later, that Beth and I were laughing about this when we were watching speed skating later that week.

And this Sunday we watched figure skating at karaoke and laughed when people fell. Because we're evil.

11:28 AM  

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