Olympic Obsessions

My nine year-old, Emma is obbbbsessed with the Olympic games. I thought we would watch gymnastics, diving and equestrian and call it a day. Much to my surprise she watched the opening ceremonies with the babysitter and when I got home from a night at the Batman movie, she wanted me to watch it with her again. Creepy Baby and all. Then she requested that we tape everything and she got up early Saturday morning and proceeded to watch 5 hours of men’s cycling.

Ok, cool. This can’t last though. But it did. Rowing, weight lifting, volleyball, shooting, diving, basketball, canoeing, water polo. Seriously, water polo? All along the way she kept peppering me with questions. Why do they put their foot like that? Why is it called a clean and jerk? Is it like soccer in the water? What is a dig? Suffice it to say that I did a lot of googling for her because I’d not a clue.

But gymnastics is her thing so when she watched these gifted athletes do their thing, she was inspired. She donned her own leo, got out the mat and beam we keep in the basement, and began mimicking the moves of the elite. And as she imagined herself in the world of the uber skilled and talented, her little face shone with joy. There is something so beautiful about the mental state of being inspired.

Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into”) refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. The concept has origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and Dionysus. In the Ancient Norse religions, inspiration derives from the gods, such as Odin. Inspiration is also a divine matter in Hebrew poetics. In the Book of Amos the prophet speaks of being overwhelmed by God’s voice and compelled to speak. In Christianity, inspiration is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

The beauty of the Olympics is that it is uncommon. It only happens every 4 years. And it is a showcase of rare talent. It would be easy for me to relegate it to a sideshow in my life but because Emma is inspired, and inspiration is contagious, I’m caught up too. Not just in the athletics, but in the inspiration. Can you inspire someone today or can you pause to let yourself be inspired? Beauty, talent, the kindness of others can all inspire if we take the time  to reflect and let it overwhelm.

GO with love

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