Ah, the twists, the turns, the speed, the jumps, the split-second decisions… could be the Olympics, or could be a day in the life of the average woman.
Ok, I suppose that’s a stretch. I mean, we’ve all seen Simone fly through the air, Katey speed through the water and Ashley leap and run. Let’s face it, they aren’t normal. Kind of superhuman as a matter of fact.
We watch them, fascinated, riveted to our seats, watching them soar – and we feel very…average. Un-athletic. Possibly even inferior. These are extreme athletes who have devoted their lives to their sport, spending 365 days a year in the gym, or the pool, or the track. Going above and beyond to get to miraculous levels of skill and fitness and break world records. We feel good if we can get in a power walk at lunch time.
After a couple weeks of being pulled into the Olympic spirit, I think we all need to take a moment to reconsider our own greatness. Very few of us will ever get even close to the abilities of those competitors. But we have our own events that we master every day with style, skill, agility and strength. With that in mind, I present my recommendations for a few sports in the Real Women Olympics:
- The Pet Hurdle. We love our domestic critters, our furry family members – and clearly they love us. They show us their devotion by being under foot All. The. Time. Simply walking from the bedroom to the bathroom, or making dinner in the kitchen requires nimble footwork to walk over and around these living, breathing obstacles. Extra points for mastering the trickiest move of all: stepping backwards when a silent pet has decided laying immediately behind their human is a really good idea.
- Ready In Ten. This is the impressive and speedy evolution we accomplish when our family members suddenly want to go out to dinner, or a child needs to be picked up, a last minute date calls, or an unexpected work meeting is scheduled. The silver medalists in this event change from lounging in ratty sweat pants and old Tshirt, with messy hair and no makeup, to looking not only presentable, but Hot in 10 minutes or less. Extra points for doing so with only a hairbrush and lipstick.
- Eight Hour Heels. The competitors we watch on TV have specialized, custom designed athletic shoes for their sport. That’s nothing compared to the stamina required to navigate life and maintain posture, style, and energy in heels for eight to ten hours a day, or for special events. Sure, we could wear sneakers. But we want to look good while we conquer our worlds. Remember Ann Richard’s famous observation: “Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” Extra points for walking and standing a minimum of three hours in totally adorable shoes.
- Nutrition with Five or Less. The Challenge: A hungry family. A tight time frame. Only five seemingly unrelated and useless ingredients available in the fridge. The successful R.W. Olympian in this category can make dinner in less than half an hour using such items as peanut butter, pasta, a carrot stick and bread crumbs. Extra points if the family actually likes the resulting meal enough to ask for it again in the future.
- Grocery Slalom. This event is not for the faint of heart. Special skills and experience are needed to rapidly and efficiently wheel the cart down aisles around obstacles like the elderly, crying babies, and spilled produce, all while comparing prices and nutritional information to get the best cost and value. The true expert in this event not only knows where items are located by aisle number and shelf level, but writes her list in the order of the store. Extra points for completing a shopping list in under an hour.
And finally, our signature event: The Multi-Tasking Scurry. An R.W. is given a minimum of a dozen activities to be successfully accomplished – all while beating the clock. Such activities may include taxi driver duties, laundry fulfillment, creating a perfect work presentation, treating a sick family member, taking the pet to the vet, cleaning the bathroom, getting the oil changed, balancing the checkbook and coloring her hair. Extra points given if no injuries are reported and no one becomes hangry.
The key difference between the R.W. Olympics and those we’ve been watching take place in Rio, is that in our events, no medals are rewarded, and they aren’t over in a couple of weeks. None of us will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Our names will not be known around the world. We will not break any world records. But if we are lucky, we are appreciated. And our reward is collapsing into bed at night and knowing that we have the skill, the strength, the abilities and the desire to get up the next morning and do it all over again. 365 days a year.
We are Golden.