Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Celiac Ruined My Olympic Dreams

It's that magical time, where nations far and wide gather together and forget about the day-to-day problems like genocide and hunger and terrorism and spend billions of dollars to flip around in shiny spandex.

Yay, Olympics!

Even I, with my lack of interest in all things sportlike, can't avoid getting sucked into the rainbow-ringed black hole (pretty sure that is a gay bar just waiting to be opened). Something about the drama, the high-running emotions, the sparkly leotards and well-developed abs ... I just lurve to watch.

When I was a kid, somewhere back around the '92 or '96 Summer Games, watching the women's gymnastics competition would prompt me to immediately flomp around my house like I was the next Shannon Miller, and I decided at the tender age of 8? 9? that I was going to be an Olympic gymnast. Never mind that I was already almost a decade behind on training and the only time I'd ever done so much as a somersault was probably accidental. It was going to happen. 'Cept it didn't.

"Wow, Alissa, you're such a good athlete," said no one, ever.

To be a star athlete, you have to have strength. Endurance. Drive. At the very least, coordination. I have ... none of the above. In fact, most of my athletic endeavors result in trips to the emergency room (such as the Great Rib Dislocation of Aught-Four, and the Batting Cage Incident of 2009).

I've decided I am going to blame my lack of athletic prowess on celiac. You know, because it sort of ruins everything and makes you a weak, achy, tired mess. Never mind that I have no interest or desire in sports. Or the motivation to stick to anything long enough to be not terrible at it. Totally celiac. But what if I didn't have celiac? What if I had been born sans autoimmune disease? Would I have thrived a little better as a child? Would I have had the energy to take on the world? Could I have been an Olympic all-star?

Likely not. But that doesn't mean I can't sit around in my replica leotard and practice dramatic floor routine poses while I watch along.

(Sidenote: None of the girls on this year's Team USA gymnastics team were out of diapers when the Magnificent Seven won their medals in 1996. In fact, most of the girls don't even remember a time before Michael Phelps was an Olympian. Brainsplosion).

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