A Weighty Matter ,July 29, 2021

Yesterday morning, my husband and I biked into town to visit the library and stop at the local grocery. We picked up several items some needed , some not so. One of the items we selected was a watermelon.

When we left the store, we had to think how to carry the melon home. I volunteered, to put it in the backpack to carry it home . I had recovered from a compression fracture in my lower back the month before. “I will be fine” I stated.

John took the extra bike stuff and other food items and placed them in a cloth bag in the baskets of the bike.

I got on the bike and the momentum of the melon, pulled me off the other side of the bike. Finally my added wheight and I were centered on the seat for the ride home.

As we drove, I was reminded of a friend, Bill Barkley. He was a fellow Association for the Blind board member. He retired to train for a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. Bill trained with a weighted climbing pack daily for 6 months. He slowly increased the weight from 20 kilos to 40 kilos. He walked the hilly terrain in a local woods.

Bill was deaf and losing his vision, yet he had this dream to climb a mountain.

When he arrived in Tanzania, he worked with a sighted guide to follow verbal direction. He had the guide miked with the audio feed going directly into Bill’s ears.

Slowly they made their way up the mountain. This is a steady climb for 19340 feet above sea level. Bill fell several times on the climb but he was determined to achieve the summit.

When he arrived the sun was rising over the African plain. He was able to see streaks of yellows, oranges and reds in his vision. He reported it was glorious.

As I carried my back two miles home, I thought of the many miles that

Bill walked to work towards his goal. No fans, sport reporters or countrymen shared in his glory.

We have the Olimpics, where the competition is geared more to bragging rights for countries rather encouraging individual athletes achievements.

Athletes have reported extreme stress at the competition. Perhaps it is time to take the counries out of the Oylimpics and applauded the individual’s achievement.

There was no one on the top of Kilimanjaro except the guide.The feat was enough for Mr. Barkley. He was in charge of his own stress.

As I gingerly got off the bike so as not to drop my watermelon, I have a new admiration for the time and training that goes into the moment of physical glory, whether it is witnessed by the world or by oneself.

**********

********

Olympics

Offer the oppurtunity to preform.

People train for their whole lives.

Led to believe that the work is for them.

Years of sweat and stress come to a single moment.

Many are crushed by stress, not of their making.

People try to share in the glory they don’t deserve.

Individuals are forgotten to score for a country.

Causing the focus to be on the politics.

Scoring for bragging rights.

carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 7-29-2021

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