Did you all see the news story this week about the 50 year old woman who is trying to win a spot on the Women’s Olympic Weight Lifting Team for 2012? This is her in the photo above. Apparently she went through a terrible divorce (welcome to my world) that cost her $800,000. in legal fees (that’s not quite welcome to my world) and as a result gained 100 pounds. (Well, sort of welcome to my world again.) If she makes it, at 52, she would be the oldest female competitor in that sport ever.
It gives me pause for reflection.
Firstly, I think “WHY?”
If I had a choice between being the oldest woman weight lifter in history or an intelligent, attractive woman who could carry on a good conversation and who also knew the difference between merlot, meritage and pinot noir, why would I choose the former? If I could be strong enough emotionally to pick up and start over, why would I want to hang in a smelly, sweaty gym instead of outside in sunshine and fresh air?
I had visions of her going through one of those 60 second dating rounds. The man across from her asks her what her greatest accomplishment has been. She answers pressing 400 pounds. He responds “WHY?” She picks him up and flings him at the moderator. She says, “That’s WHY.” She is not only forevermore banned from the sessions, but she’s also nicknamed “Muscle Mama.”
I dunno. I really dunno.
It also got me to thinking what goals I’d like to achieve in my life now that I’m 60 and probably only have another 40 years left. (I have always vowed to live to be 100 just to aggravate my children. Let them change my diapers for awhile and wonder where I am after my curfew. Then they’ll see how frustrating it was with them.) Anyway, I realized that there really isn’t a lot I haven’t done that would make me feel like I just had to do it or my life would be for naught.
I’d like to have a book published. That might happen; if it doesn’t, so what? Lots of people go unpublished. I like reading what I write. Some of you do, too, because you’ve told me so. (And thank you for that.)
There are still a good number of places in the world I’d like to visit, but, on the other hand, there are a lot I’ve already seen. And I still have time.
I’d like to be on The Biggest Loser. That won’t happen for sure. I’m on the cusp of qualifiers. Too fat for my liking, not nearly fat enough for theirs. Jillian would never come to my house. She wouldn’t even drive by and honk.
I’d like to learn to sail. I almost did that, until I fell off the boat during lessons and had a slight concussion. I will go back to it someday. As soon as the swelling goes down. It’s only been a year.
I’d like to learn to play the drums. Probably still a possibility. The music school is right down the street from me.
I’d like to offer scholarships to some of the kids going through my old Catholic grammar school in Queens. In the late ’50′s and early ’60′s, when I was a student there, it was largely Irish and Polish. It is almost entirely Haitian now and apparently most of these kids lost family members in the earthquake. I was thinking about my old school the other day; it’s where I learned to write. I won the award for best writer at 8th grade Graduation. It was a dictionary. Everyone else got a medal; I got a dictionary. I guess that’s because spell-check wasn’t even a glint in the eye of Bill Gates at that point. Nor was even Bill Gates a glint in the eye of the senior Mr. Gates.
Oddly, I sort of feel sorry for this woman. She must be terribly unhappy with who she is to pick such a goal when there are so many other things you can hope to accomplish that would make a difference in other people’s lives while improving your own. In the end, I hope she does make it and there’s no question that I’d cheer for her. There just may be some poor woman out there, going through an $800,000. divorce, who will see her and say “Hey, after I pay off the lawyers, gain and lose 100 pounds, maybe I can go to the Olympics.”
I think I’d rather go to the beach.