If I was ever going to go to the Olympics, I assumed it would be through dressage. Watching this last Olympics, I found a couple of sports I’m glad I didn’t know about growing up because otherwise I’d be trying to do them. More to the point, my parents are probably glad I didn’t know about them. I’d be a very different person, living a very different life, and I’m not sure I’d be happy.
Gymnastics— I didn’t grow up under a rock, I know about gymnastics. Mom took me out of gymnastics when I was a baby because she was afraid it was her dream. On bad days I think about what would have happened if I had stayed in.
Watching Team USA, Russia, and Ukraine, I’m glad I didn’t continue in gymnastics. I would be unbearable to live with. I would have been a machine. A psychotic machine. As intense and competitive as I am, I’d make the Russians look like kittens. I would probably be hurting myself, very unhappy, and convinced nothing I do is good enough.
Rhythm Gymnastics— If it combines extreme flexibility, dance, and elegance, sign. me. up! Oh I loved watching that this Olympics and found myself stretching out. I could still do some stuff. The team competition was poms on crack! So precise and so good. It should be mandatory watching for all dance teams, “See, here are formations. These are transitions. And see! That’s a pom pass. And they did it with a ball.”
Water Polo— I would kill someone. Grab me and pull me under? I will drowned you. A girl got a bloody nose so I thought they’d stop the game, like in hockey. Nope. They kept playing. Australia’s like, “It’s an indoor pool. There are no sharks. What’s the problem?” If I played water polo, I’d just live in their floating penalty box. I’m really glad I didn’t see this sport growing up.
But it’s fun to think about how different life would have been if I had done something else.