American Heart

It peaks my interest quickly. #1 – my risk for heart disease is really high #2 – I am passionate about the success and trials American face #3 – I love supporting America.

Over the weekend I wrote an email to a friend, Crystal, about different rants. First it was a D rant and mentioned afterward I needed more things to care about…to care enough to have a rant over. Two paragraphs later we had:

The Olympics start soon. I was never going to be in the Winter Olympics, but it’s the Olympic Games just the same. It’s always a hard time for me. ALWAYS. Pretty sure this is the cause of my uphill (and unsuccessful) battle with productivity as of late. I’m jealous and sad and angry. Jealous of those who get to walk in the parade of nations and represent their country on the world’s stage. Sad I will never be there. Angry at my parents for not letting me train. Angry at the psycho doctor who told my parents I couldn’t train. Angry at myself for not getting back into training at the level needed to compete and not only be a prospect, but make the team. Sad that I missed the opportunity to reach a dream. I LOVE the Olympics, I always have, ALWAYS. But they make me sad. Haven’t really talked about it, don’t like falling apart over it, it was an issue 5 years ago…no point in still being effed up over it. I hate that I’ll never be at the competitive level I want. I hate that I have all these feelings surrounding the Olympics. 24 Hour Fitness is a supporter of the Olympics, it’s hard to be around all of it. There are SO many Olympians that aren’t on sponsered memorabilia, so many struggling financially, so many needing to compete in different countries during the year because of America’s unappreciation of sport. Yes, we have the NFL, NBA, MLB and the NHL (to an extent). But if you compete as, let’s say, a water polo player…you have to play in European professional leagues if you have ANY hope of matching the other athletes in the world. We just don’t have the simple appreciation. In other countries their athletes compete and train for a living, the athletes only job is to represent and support their country. In the US an athlete is only given the opportunity to have that kind of focus if they play football, basketball, baseball, hockey, etc or in college. The national team handball team…they compete in the Quebec professional league to TRY to compete on the world’s stage, and haven’t qualified since 1996 in Atlanta. I’ve known women that had to stop playing on the national team, simply because they can’t find a job making enough that supports their training schedule.

Come to find out, I did have something else to care about. The Olympics inspire me, anger me and bring me to heartache. The idea of nations coming together, competing in unified sports REPRESENTING their individual countries is a beautiful thing. They may me angry, so angry, because of all the hurting athletes. Those who can’ afford to train. The lack of support our citizens have in the sports system. We don’t even have a sports system, it’s shameful. Heartbreak over my own athletic career but also the complete lack of hope I have in the country’s system in developing sports.

Americans seem to lack the acceptance or awareness that the athletes competing in Vancouver are doing it for us, for their country. What do we do for them? In other countries athletes ONLY job is training, eating properly and competing. That’s what they DO for the country. Yes, that’s demanding. But does it allow athletes the environment to thrive? Yes.

Such a clusterf**ck.

Patriotism is shown in a manner of faces. Supporting your athletes is one way. Supporting the cancer survivers. Support for our people. In Iraq, in Afghanistan and here in the US. For me, patriotism can be shown in supporting people affected by tragedy. Supporting Diabetics. Supporting those with heart disease.

Support. Value. Love. Have An American Heart.

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About smashleeca

I am a lot of things...a Californian, a T1 diabetic, a Crohn's pt, a daughter, friend, former athlete, forever student, blogger, worker, and most of all life-embracer. That sounds corny...but I'll leave it. I'm just your average 24 y/o girl with a story to tell. View all posts by smashleeca

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