I must be getting old. Watching the Olympics last night, I found myself doing the following: worrying about all the potential injuries that those young, driven bodies could sustain (or already have sustained!); suffering through the gymnastic routines with the mothers in the stands (my favorite part of the games was watching Aly Raisman’s parents move back and forth with her routine); feeling sorry for the beautiful Russian gymnast who lost to the American team because of a series of unfortunate events; and, finally, thinking that maybe it isn’t all that great for a young, 25-year-old athlete to win 19 medals—that maybe it would be better for Michael Phelps if he actually didn’t conquer that record–if he actually encountered something that he couldn’t do!
That wasn’t all I was thinking.
I admit I was also blown away by some of the amazing things the human body can do when it is trained and trained and trained into shape. And I found myself, like so many other people, wanting to go outside and do a cartwheel on the front lawn.
But I also couldn’t help wondering–especially during the gymnastics and the weight lifting, where you see the athlete’s muscles straining–how we will know when we have actually reached the limit of human potential—how we will know when to stop pushing for more world records, since that final push could be the one that kills a young athlete instead of just putting them out of commission for a while.
As I said, I must be getting old.