Saturday, July 11, 2009
M2 | CONTEST | Day 70
Interesting scenario. South Africa had a disastrous Olympic games in terms of the medal tables, however we more than made up for it in the Para Olympics (which by BTW means parallel olympics and not paraplegic olympics and the reason is to create parity between the two and not make the latter look like the poor cousin.) by standing number 5 in the medals.
This got me thinking about the athletes. Why would we think that the para olympians are any less worthy than the able bodied. Why would the able bodied get way more viewership and TV ratings than the wheelchair warriors.
Is it because the able bodied athletes look more graceful and athletic or is it because it's too hard facing up to our own mortality.
Obviously I have more than a passing interest in this topic because of my own near death experience, but I sincerely believe that the wheelchair warriers are far more courageous, dedicated and committed than the able bodied.
Before you shoot me think about this.
Michael Phelps wakes up in the morning very early. Leaps out of bed, maybe chugs down a protein shake made by mom, grabs his tog bag and heads for the pool in his sponsored Lexus SUV. (give a little licence here) Gets to the pool, and starts training.
Oscar Pistorius wakes up in the morning very early. Leaps out of bed....and takes 10 minutes to afix his double prosthetic legs. Makes his own protein shake and grabs his tog bag after making sure that his racing prosthetics are in the bag and heads for the track, driven by a friend. (well maybe not) Gets to the track, laboriously removes his street legs and puts on his race legs. Starts training. Spends the rest of the day fighting the authorities as to whether he is legally allowed to race in the Olympics. Gets the all clear....eventually but doesn't make the qualifying times. Natalie Du Toit one of our swimmers, raced in the able bodies games AND is now churning out gold medals in the OTHER version.
How much more stressful are these peoples lives than an able bodied person. A lot but it doesn't bother them. They get on with it with good grace a great attitude and a big smile. WOW.
Don't get me wrong..I'm not saying they are better athletes, I'm saying that they have a harder time training, racing and living but their commitment to living a full life is unquestioned and they have got like that BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE.
Natalie Du Toit was a world class swimmer before she was knocked over by a car and lost her leg. Did she lose her will to live. NOT A CHANCE, she determined to STILL swim in the Olympic games...and this year she did. WHAT A CHAMPION.
Why moan about how unfair life is. Don't wait to see if you get a second chance. Get out there now and get as fit and healthy as you can, so that you CAN survive if you are ever unlucky enough to get cut down in the prime of your life.