Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Things I Can't Do

You may or may not have noticed that we are in the midst of figure skating season. This is the greatest gift the sports world ever gives me, save for the Stanley Cup making its way back to Detroit. I love watching figure skaters defy the very laws of physics, precisely because I CANNOT DO THAT. 

Seeing people do things that I can't is one of the most fascinating acts of observation for me. My brother used to take telephones apart and put them back together, and I think he was motivated by the same thing I am when I watch others at work: a need to see the magic behind something. Whether it's bingeing on Bob Ross videos (a childhood favorite) or staring at the whirring needle of my mother's sewing machine, it's great to see the process. But even though I want to know how it's all done, I'm also a big fan of viewing the final product, such as when I re-view Oksana Baiul taking home the gold in Lillehammer over Nancy Kerrigan in 1994 by adding an unexpected triple-toe loop toward the end of her program (HOW DID SHE EVEN MANAGE IT). Forgive the pun, but witnessing that kind of on-your-feet thinking is what makes watching worthwhile.

And doing so gives me hope for myself: if I work as hard as the people I see, maybe I'll be the kind of person who gets watched someday. I'd like to be inspiring to someone if possible.


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