Friday, August 03, 2012

Olympic Dreams...

That smile says it all...

When I was much younger, I was an avid gymnastic watcher. I loved the sport and this was during the times of Nadia Comaneci and Bela Karolyi. As a child I would imitate what I saw the gymnasts doing on television and try to teach the same skills to my sister. Man, those were the days of long, hot summers where going outside happened, but later in the day. I couldn’t miss my soaps, trying to go outside and make flower pies and practice my headstands, cartwheels, round offs and pretend I was on the parallel bars. I liked playing like a gymnast.

My mother knew we were imitating what we saw on television, but I don’t think she knew that we used the arms of her couch as our balance beam. Yes, we were doing jumps and dismounts on her good couch. I am laughing now, but if those arms had of given out, we were going to be in a mess of trouble, never mind we were just pretending that we as little black girls could be gymnast and even an Olympic gold medalist. Pretending is all we could do back then, because my mama couldn’t afford to have us take classes and who was going to keep my little brother, while she was working?

Although it was a pipe dream, I loved watching gymnastics during the Olympics. It was the highlights of my summer every four years, long after my mother had passed. I remember watching Dominic Dawes and thinking, that is so cool and of having a moment of if that could have been me. It was nice to see the gymnasts looking like myself. Of course, a much slimmer and more athletic looking me.

I knew Gabby Douglas had won the All Around Gold medal before it aired, because MSN had breaking news stating she had. I was so happy, but couldn’t wait until I got home to see how dynamic she truly was. And of course Viggle. (Look it up!) Watching her perform her routines with the skill and grace of an athlete and the faith so ingrained in her spirit was remarkable. I was so happy for her and so proud watching this 94 pound wonder do what I dreamed of doing when I was so young. She worked hard and made it happen. Amazing! I shed tears of happiness and my heart was full of joy, she represented all I had wanted so many years ago and through perserverance and family sacrifice she lived out her dream. Congratulations Gabby!

So imagine my expression when I read folks were in an uproar over about N.B.C’s commercial segue saying it was inappropriate. I saw the commercial and it didn’t bother me because I didn’t associate the monkey with anyone, I was just proud of her being the first African-American female to win the all around Gold medal and yes I heard what Bob Costa said before the commercial. I had already dismissed the hair stories. Sometimes we can’t stand to be happy and look for things to be mad about and I am so glad Gabby didn’t allow the inappropriateness of others to knock her off her concentration or allow them to keep her from celebrating what she obviously worked and sacrificed to obtain. She has two gold medals from this Olympics, she should celebrate this accomplishment.

Although I didn’t realize the dream of being an Olympic winning gymnast, I am so proud and happy Gabby Douglas did what I could only dream about doing so many years ago...

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At 5:01 PM, Blogger **Tiffany** said...

Remember when I tore down the shower curtain and rod in the bathroom, trying to swing like I was on parallel bars? I actually hurt myself when I fell half in the tub and half on the floor. But that didnt' stop Mama from whipping my butt! lol

Oh if only I had gotten real gymnastic lessons!!

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Cashana said...

Lawd, I forgot about the bathroom incident. Now I can't stop laughing...a mess!


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