So, this is where I would typically put up a maudlin recap of how I feel after taking Sarah to the airport and comforting her as she cried because she didn’t want to leave. I spent three days in a pretty deep funk, and I’m doing my best to climb out of it, but I’ll admit it’s been a tough week.
I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics coverage. I’ve loved the Olympics for nearly as long as I can remember, and I actually know exactly why.
When I was eight-years-old the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were in full swing when my large family reunion was held at the Sun River Resort in central Oregon. It was a magical weekend in general, time spent with favorite cousins running amok throughout the various condo villages (we had an attendance of over 300) and general halcyon memories forged in perfect summer weather at an idyllic age. One of the most burnished of those memories is watching various Olympic events on the televisions throughout the different condos we were constantly running between as we changed into swimsuits or fetched bikes or stopped for a few bites of hurried food.
My clearest memory is watching Greg Louganis dive from the 10m platform. I remember everyone stopping whatever they were doing and running into the living room to watch every time he came up. I’ve always watched the diving, even tried to replicate the somersaults and clean entries off diving boards growing up – because the most physically fit man I’d ever seen made it look easy.
That weekend we watched the running events, the high jump, gymnastics, even a few minutes of fencing. I don’t remember much specifically except the diving, but I knew that I enjoyed watching it. It was the ultimate background sound. Every childhood summer should include random moments of adults cheering together as winners win, and second and third are rewarded as well.
I will admit that the Olympics are a guilty pleasure for me. I try to see as much as I can, and I follow the results closely for even the most random of sports (badminton, race-walking?!?) as the two weeks of competition play out. It seems like every Olympiad I find myself falling in love with a new sport. In 1984 it was diving, in 1988 it was fencing, in 1992 it was tennis, in 1996 it was gymnastics, in 2000 it was swimming, in 2004 it was Judo, in 2008 it was
softball women’s beach volleyball, and this year…well, I watched a LOT of equestrian and almost every minute of the rowing, cycling, and swimming…but I fell head-over-heels in love with Olympic Boxing. Don’t ask, I can’t explain it.
Number of boxing bouts I’d watched before two weeks ago: like five.
Number of bouts I missed in the last two weeks where a US, GB or Irish fighter was on the canvas: nil
Also, while Cool-Hand Luke (Campbell) and Anthony Joshua have been great to watch, I have to give total credit to Katie Taylor, Nicola Adams and Claressa Shields. “Million Dollar Baby” utterly turned me off of the concept of Women’s Boxing…and I was WRONG. Really great stuff on display this year. Exceptional all around. Also, there is something to watching two fighters go at it hammer-and-tongs for three rounds and then as soon as the final bell rings it’s hugs all around. Even in the gold medal bouts. Great sportsmanship on display in the vast majority of cases.
I will also admit that I’ve not seen even one second of coverage on NBC. We cut the cable more than a year ago, and that means we can’t watch the NBC online streams either. Oh well. In this day and age, that seemed very short-sighted. I’ve seen dozens of hours of coverage, and not one of NBC’s commercial interruptions or heard one word of their apparently poor commentary. I can tell you that the home-town broadcaster has done an EXCEPTIONAL job.
Which brings me to point three. I generally don’t write much about my work, and that won’t really change in the future, but changes in my professional life may soon have a huge impact on my…my everything. In the last couple of years my amount of travel has declined as I focused on family time and worked through a couple of health issues. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I had a heart-attack in April, happy birthday to me. Anyway, there are changes and transitions afoot in my professional world, and I’ve found myself preparing a “Plan B” that is slowly turning into “Plan A” and an excellent opportunity for my career…but it will entail living for the majority of my time in London for the duration of the position. A position that has a historical tenure of 3-5 years.
There are a lot of considerations here: international flights on a regular basis, living five time-zones ahead of my family and eight ahead of Sarah, returning to the states for my custody periods and coordinating those travel arrangements, potentially working two positions (one domestic and one in the UK) for an extended period of time due to the nature of my current position, expanding two teams instead of just one, significantly increased stress and responsibility, and the general sense of pressure as one considers a major life change.
On the other hand, it’s a SIGNIFICANT career opportunity for me and the challenges really get me excited, and come on…it’s LONDON! If I’m going to work myself to death, I may as well do it in my favorite city on earth.
So that’s been what’s up around here. I continue to write in my off time, and I’ve put in quite a few words on several projects. I’ll also try very hard to get back to the What I’m Looking For posts soon. I’ve realized that the next couple were originally planned out to cover two topics that I still haven’t come completely to grips with yet from a public place, and I haven’t decided what to do there. I may write them up and post them password protected. That way a select few can give me some feedback before I open them up to the internet at large (or scrap them forever).
We’ll see as we go. There’s more to come.
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