So the Olympics are finally here. Naturally I'm watching a fair bit of swimming, which is bittersweet as it makes me want to drop everything and everyone and swim and swim until my chest bursts and my arms stop working. I can't begin to describe the pure joy in feeling your own strength and doing something you know you were born to do. But it's more than that.
Once you reach a certain level of skill and fitness it's incredibly liberating to just go mental and tear into your chosen sport because you can. The sensation of endless energy and incredible, unstoppable momentum is more addictive that anything else I could possibly imagine.
One more thing, we celebrate gold silver and bronze, but to just make the final, in fact, just to qualify is an incredible feat of persistence, hard work and physical excellence.
I can only really speak for swimming, but that's 5 hours a day of intense agony, you are never really free of the ache in your shoulders, and sacrifice.
Hannah Miley of the UK 'only came 5th' in the 400 medley. That's 100 metres butterfly at full pace AND THEN another 300m mixing up the other strokes.
Doing ANY butterfly at all is beyond most humans, let alone 100m and certainly not following that with another 300m of anything, let alone sprinting. It's agony for the best and beyond most of the speed merchants you'll find in your local pool.
That's why I love the Olympics, it's celebration of humanity and the sheer,wonderful possibility that resides in all of us.