Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Are we all a tiny bit self centred... or is it just me?

Although sport is probably one of my Least Favourite Things I really enjoyed watching the Olympics. I found myself irretrievably hooked. Even the dancing horses, erm... dressage, and the diving. I want Jess Ennis to be my bff and I keep doing the Mo Farah Mo-Bot at strangers.

The Olympics, sports in general, have never held much appeal for me. It was taught appallingly at my school by some of the PE staff. I was given a really negative report once because I wasn't very good at running. Constructive? Not very. Actually, when I returned to deliver an assembly at the same school years later and spoke about completing the Great North Run, the same teacher audibly scoffed. Nice.

So why were the Olympics so enticing this time? Why did I find myself crying with uncontrollable and embarrassing frequency? Hard to admit, but I think it's self centredness. Maybe we are all a tiny bit like this? When we hear a song on the radio or see friends getting married, or watch some crappy story line unfolding on a TV programme and feel that lump growing in the throat, probably part of it is empathy, but the greater part is because somewhere in our minds it has tapped into our own feelings, morphed into our own experiences and turned us inward to understand the emotions around our own life experiences, struggles and joys.

So the Olympics this time, the race, the striving for something significant, something that feels vitally important, tapped directly into why I write. And like the sports men and women, the fact that writing is something I enjoy completely, feel lucky to be able to do, even when I'm smarting after another failure or rejection letter, I want to keep trying. I find writing really very difficult. I don't think I'm particularly good at it a lot of the time. But I know that if I try really really hard, and keep trying, I will get better. Half the battle is just keeping going when other people have given up; keep going because it matters too much to stop. And to watch, listen and learn from the people around who are doing it too. Lessons learnt - keep going, try harder, and develop some sort of Mo-Bot style victory move for when things are going to plan.  

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