The Road to London…

Well, it’s almost that time again.
The magical period that rolls around every four (well, technically two) years that captivates almost everyone on the planet.

The Olympic Games…
Since I was a little girl I have been in love with the Olympics.  Initially it was all about wanting to be in them, and dedicating my life to achieving that goal.  Now it is about being caught up in the magic.

The Olympics have a way of distilling life into this incredible little package.  We get to live others dreams first hand; we catch glimpses into their sweat-filled journey to this particular moment in time [that is for the fortunate ones who are actually able to get to this moment – but more on that later], we’re able to imagine the magnificent dedication it takes to get to this level, and take on their goals, their triumphs, and also their defeats as if they were our own.  Sport has this incredible power of enabling fans to take the athletes’ accomplishments personally.  And I honestly mean this in the best way possible!  We rally, we cheer, we cry, we jump and scream and wear the most ridiculous paraphernalia with the belief that our faith can and will affect the outcome.  The swelling of National Pride during the Games is to me, one of the most inspiring and powerful phenomenon.  Regardless of the sport, the gender, the religion, or race – all we want is the best for that athlete… that person.  I love sport so much, because it is how I aim to live my life.

Dream big. Dedicate yourself. Believe. Find support in like-minded people, and support them along the path. Learn. Grow. Fail. Triumph. Share your passion. Repeat! (as often as necessary and as often as possible)

The last week I began to realize that the Olympics are taking over my life. (Oh what a wonderful predicament.)  This is of course with very good explanation.  My incredible husband is, himself, preparing for the Games.  He and his teammates (The Canadian Rowing Men’s 8+) will soon leave for the preparation camp in Europe and then head to England.  Ready, eager, and able to defend their 2008 Gold Medal.

I have much work to do as well.
After years of dreaming, working, and fighting I am finally going to the Olympics.  “Are you competing?” you may ask…  No.  Perhaps it is not the way I initially dreamed, but perhaps this is even sweeter.  You see, since I met and married Malcolm I realized that this role – of being the best supporter is in fact my destiny.

It was actually when Malcolm was competing in the single that I came to this realization.  At that time I felt like I could be of greater assistance (to make up for the crew he didn’t have next to him).  When he moved back into the Eight I think I took it harder than he did.  And then I realized that this is his destiny too.  To help guide his teammates the way he had been mentored in Beijing.

The Howards after the 2011 World Championships in Bled

We always have a role to play.  Sometimes our ego tries to dictate what that role should look like, but if we can be open – we might have the most to give and to gain in where we are in that exact moment.

So I now realize that all of the little things… understanding what he needs before he does, bed at 9pm and up at 6am, cooking enough food for a small army, helping him stretch, doing laundry etc. (oh all the glamorous things you can imagine)  …that is my contribution.  It’s not always easy, especially for someone who is used to centre stage. But knowing that I could have some positive contribution towards his dreams is more gratifying than accomplishing my own.

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. – Maya Angelou 

Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you have brought with you. – Wil Rose

Actually I will have another role to play in London as well.  Through chance or fate or perhaps a bit of both I will be CTV’s analyst for Rhythmic Gymnastics.  So stayed tuned.  Not only will you see me as the Craziest Canuck cheering our Rowers as they go after their dreams, but I will be sharing my insights and passions about the sport that almost took me to Atlanta and Athens… but has brought me to London instead!

The 11 year old version of me 🙂


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