So I love the Summer Olympics. Honestly, it's one of the best TV events ever. The Winter Olympics are alright, but the Summer Games make me more patriotic than 4th of July and Canada Day (I'm Canadian, too :P). There are a few things I love about the games, and here's what they are:
I love the Parade of Nations. Personally, I get a little nostalgic for Greece, and love watching them lead the parade. Probably because I'm half-Greek, and I was in Athens right before the 2004 Summer Olympics. There, I learned to love the pageantry of the games, as well as the love for your country, and ultimately the world, that everyone shows during these few weeks.
I love that they conduct the ceremonies in French before they do it in English. Mom says it's because "French is such and international language." Pffffffffft. No. It's because the Headquarters is in Switzerland, which is a country that speaks French. Also, Jaques Count Rogge was born in Belgium. Which is another French-speaking country. (Note: The two languages used in the Ceremony for the games are French, and then English. If the host country doesn't speak either French or English, then they also add the host country's language. Just thought you all should know.)
Men's Swimming. Speedos and muscles. Enough said.
These three things are my favorite things about the Summer Olympics. Just to let you all know, I'll be rooting for USA primarily (mostly concerning Women's Gymnastics and Men's Swimming), but also Canada, Greece, Russia, Poland, Austria, and of course, the host country, Great Britain. I always have a soft spot for the host country. Oh, also Croatia. It's a really pretty country; I've been and want to go back.
Now, this is a diabetes blog. I can totally see you all reading the above text and saying "Okay, that's dandy. What the heck does it have to do with diabetes?" Well, you bet your glucometer I'm gonna tell you. So, here's the question: What the Olympic Games, the highest honor in the sports world, have to do with diabetes, a crap-tastic disease that makes everyone who comes in contact with it miserable?
Diabetes is a sport. You start out at any sport, and you're not very good. Diabetes is the same way. You start out managing it, and you constantly fall on your face, hit yourself in the butt with the bat, or take a ball to the crotch. But, you've got people on the sidelines who love you, people who coach you, push you to your limits, and make you better. And slowly but surely, you become a champion. You become better than you ever even thought was possible.
And it takes years of practice. You have really bad days, and you have days where you feel on top of the world. It's the most amazing feeling to see the control get tighter, your A1c getting better, your endocrinologist dancing when she sees how well you've been doing.
And you know what? An Olympian is an Olympian is an Olympian. It doesn't matter if you're Michael Phelps, going into his third Olympics, currently holds sixteen medals (fourteen gold, and two bronze), holds the record for most gold medals won at a single Olympics, won the most medals out of any athlete at both Athens and Beijing, and is setting out to win the most Olympic medals ever (he only needs two more, but something tells me he'll earn a lot more than that). It doesn't matter. The fact is, you made it. Just because you came in fourth, and don't have a gold, silver, or bronze to show for it, doesn't make you a loser. It makes you an Olympian. You're FOURTH in the ENTIRE WORLD. Think about it this way: Michael Phelps has eight gold medals to lose. He has eight world titles to defend. But if you came in fourth, you have four years to get to the top of your game, and to make yourself better. You have still have time to enjoy, and relish in that win. It's a tear-jerking moment for you, and everyone involved in your journey to the top. But for Michael Phelps? It's a sigh of relief. He's holding his title for another four years.
Just because you don't have an A1c of 6.2% doesn't make you a loser. It just gives you a lot of room for improvement. If your A1c is always 6.2%, you have to hold your breath every time you go to the endocrinologist's office because you don't want to let anyone down by letting it get higher. But if you're at a 9.5%, and three months later you're at a 7.8%? There's celebrating. There's dancing. There are tears. And it's all worth it, right in that second.
Tonight, I leave you with this quote by Al Oerter, a four-time Olympic champion from the USA. "I didn't set out to beat the world; I set out to do my absolute best."