It's safe to say I was obsessed
I enjoyed watching diving, and swimming and track and beach volleyball. But my all-time favorite is gymnastics. Ever since the Magnificent Seven and the infamous "You can do it!" shout of one Bela Karolyi, I have imagined myself one day competing for team USA. As a gymnast. Which is only slightly ludicrous considering I can barely do a cartwheel and I break out into a cold sweat if I come within five feet of the uneven bars. Also? I'm twice the age of the average gymnast.
Still, it's good to dream, yes?
(Does anyone know at what point dreams become delusions? I'm asking for...a friend.)
If NBC wasn't showing coverage of the 2012 gymnastic team, I watched replays of Nastia Lukin and Carly Patterson on ON DEMAND. I watched highlights of the Magnificent Seven and Kerri Strug vault them into infamy. I watched Youtube clips of past Olympics. I watched gymnastics gone wrong: girls flinging themselves off the bars into the crowd, faceplanting on the balance beam, vaulting into the judges.
The more I watched, the more I realized my dream of being an Olympic gymnast was probably never going to come true. As you can imagine, I was devastated.
But you know what they say: If one dream doesn't work out, find a new one. (Do "they" actually say that? I have no idea.) And so I imagined myself competing in my own Olympic sport, complete with (gymnastic) announcers Al Trautwig, Elfi Schlegel and Tim Daggett. But instead of the Bars, Vault, Uneven Bars and Floor Apparatuses, I competed in Couch, Ice Cream, Sink and Shoes .
The goal of this apparatus is for competitors to lie on the couch for as long as possible, watching reality t.v. and eating a ten pound bag of mini snickers. Competitors get bonus points for glassy-eyes, drool stains on couch cushions, chocolate stains on shirts and husbands who yell, "you're still watching t.v.?!!"
Here's a snippet of the announcers review of my performance:
Al: Wow, Elfi. She's really been lying on the couch for awhile.
Elfi: Yes, Al. She's going on ten hours. Most competitors will only do four, five hours max. But SG can lounge on the couch like no one I have ever seen.
Tim: She really came into these Olympics prepared. She's been training for months, lying on her couch at home for hours, sometimes days on end, doing absolutely nothing.
Al: Look at the way drool just rolls off her chin. Truly amazing. What an athlete.
Elfi: Oh my! What's this?! Is she actually picking up a Snickers wrapper and taking it to the trashcan? That's a full point deduction. Competitors are just supposed to let their trash fall to the floor.
Tim: This is really unheard of for SG. A huge lapse in concentration.
Al: Wait...It looks like she's letting it fall to the floor on her way to the bathroom. Yep, that's exactly what she is doing. She has dropped the Snickers wrapper on the floor in the hallway. Her mess is no longer contained to just the couch. She'll get bonus points for that for sure.
The goal of this apparatus is for competitors to eat massive amounts of ice cream in one sitting. Scoring for this is pretty simple: the more ice cream you eat, the more points you get.
Al: Is that ten scoops of ice cream? Ten!
Elfi: You counted right, Al. And that's just her warm up. She'll eat ten bowls of ten scoops each. One right after the other.
Tim: This is another area where SG dominates the other competitors. Most can only eat one or two bowls of only four scoops each, but SG has mastered eating ALL THE ICE CREAM!
Elfi: She's finished bowl eight and here comes her signature move: waving her spoon at her husband to indicate it's time for him to refill her bowl.
Al: Look at his face. You can just tell he loves it when she does that.
The goal of the apparatus is for competitors to leave as many beauty products on the bathroom sink as possible. Competitors get bonus points for yelling at husbands who move things to try to make room so they can brush their teeth.
Al: Just look at all that stuff.
Elfi: Four bottles of lotion, two hairbrushes, bobby pins, face cream, three deodorants, two handmirrors and three tweezers.
Tim: Most competitors only have one pair of tweezers. But not SG, she has three.
Al: Now what would a competitor need with three pairs of tweezers?
Elfi: No one knows. Certainly not her husband.
Tim: Look at that. She even has Q-tips, eye makeup remover pads and the tags of the last forty pairs of jeans she's bought. Such a competitor.
The goal of this apparatus is for competitors to leave their shoes scattered all over the house. Competitors get bonus points for leaving them in walkways where people, like husbands, have the potential to trip over them, breaking an ankle or impaling the sole of their foot on a stiletto heel.
Al: Look at this! SG has six pairs of shoes in the living room and kitchen alone!
Elfi: Actually, it's eight, Al. You missed the pair under the coffee table and the other lodged under the couch.
Tim: And she has two mismatched pairs under the dining room table. You can't teach that kind of talent.
Elfi: Look at that! She's left a high heel on the center of a stair about halfway up the staircase. She's been practicing that move all week and hadn't quite gotten it right. I was wondering if she was going to do it in competition. She has, and it's perfect!
Tim: Amazing. Absolutely Amazing. What makes this move so brilliant is what she does next. See how she turns off the lights and goes to bed? Well, her husband is already asleep. He has no idea she's placed a shoe there. At about two in the morning, he'll wake up thirsty and head downstairs for some water. He'll trip on the unsuspecting shoe, tumble down the stairs and break his ass.
Al: Wow. That will certainly be something to watch. Will she get bonus points for that?
Elfi: Oh definitely. The gold is hers, no doubt.
I have to tell you guys, there truly is no greater feeling than being an Olympic athlete. I now know what Michael Phelps must be feeling. And I'm sure Michael would agree that while the gold medals are nice, the best feeling is knowing I'm representing my country. I hope I have inspired others to follow their dreams of being lazy, ice cream eating slobs. Or maybe your dream is to be the Dishes Champion, where you see how high you can stack dirty dishes in your kitchen sink. It doesn't matter what your dream is. The important thing is that you have a dream, and you go for it.
And remember, just because you're too old to start training to be a gymnast, doesn't mean you're too old to train to eat ALL THE COOKIES. I'm pretty sure you can never be too old for that.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to start training for a new event called Midnight Kitchen. It's where competitors get inspired to cook a five course, gourmet meal in the middle of the night, get tired halfway through, leave a mess and go to bed. The next morning, husbands wake up, turn on the lights and start to cry. It's sure to be a fan favorite.
For instance, one night, he woke me up in a panic. I always think he's awake because his eyes are open, but then he screamed at me:
"MAKE SURE TO WASH THE FLOORS WITH THE OCTOPUS."...