Thursday, July 17, 2008

Olympic Dreams

Thursday, July 17, 2008
A little known tid bit about Pittsy is that I used to be a very serious competitive swimmer. I practiced every day from a young age and loved the meets on the weekends. When I was nine I was on the first Arkansas All-Star Swim Team (yes, Arkansas!). It was a very big deal to me at the time as we had to travel to Louisiana and compete in a multi-state meet. Not only was the competition better than I had ever had, I got to stay in college dorms. That was big time.

That's me in the center. Small but mighty!
The meet went well for me and I came home a winner in two events and second place in the third. But the bigger, more lasting memory was the love of the sport. All the hard work paying off just made me want more.
This is the original postcard I saved. No "image" search here!
My story does not end with me going to the Olympics, although I had dreams of such. Life weaves different paths for us and while my commitment was there the circumstances for me were not. So, I still swam competitively but had to change teams frequently. I loved being in the pool but the the continuity of coaching and competitions wasn't there for me. As the Summer Olympics rolled around I found something I could really connect with.
For the 1984 Olympics I can remember watching every event possible and clipping anything related to swimming out of the paper. I was going through a collection phase and wanted to preserve the moment--for each athlete. Even at my youthful age I knew the dedication it took for those competitors and somehow honored them with all my clippings and tracking.

Now, with the Olympic Opening Ceremonies 22 days away I can feel the excitement brewing inside me. I can not wait for the games and will stop everything (well, I won't have to with TiVO, but you get my passion) to watch the swimming events. I assure you, this will not be the last post from me on the Olympics.


jora said...

LOVE that first photo, pittsy!

mybelle68 said...

I think your first photo should be turned into a painting... I'm not joking. Love it!!! Maybe next time I see you in the pool we can race.

mybelle68 said...

I just went on domestic reflections blog, and she has an artist on there thats interesting she also does commission portraits ( Julian Merrow-Smith). I think you should get that first photo done. It would be cool.