What could be more awe-inspiring than to see someone overcome odds, make the most of the talents he/she has, and succeed? For the next few weeks, the television will see more of me than it usually does as I watch athletes drop all pretense and political differences that separate different countries, and compete in the London Olympics.
But, Shannon Boxx, the soccer player who not long ago, went public with her diagnosis of lupus, did make the team. However, in the first soccer game she played in London, she suffered a leg injury. Will she return?
Even though she didn’t make it to London, many consider amazing, the accomplishments of Dara Torres, 45 year-old, 5 time Olympian who has won 12 Olympic medals.
Dara Torres fights age, Venus Williams and Shannon Boxx fight diseases you can’t see, but they’re still ravaged. I got to thinking the other day, that NOONE except themselves and people close to them, possibly know and understands the difficulty, the immense struggles they have overcome to get where they are. However, WE have a pretty strong idea.
I’m sure there are others who compete against the odds; the sheer act of training and making the team was an odd. Think of the thousands who did not, who’s timing was off by a millisecond! Then there are others (myself included) who compete vicariously. I told my mother that one day I’d be in the Olympics. Well, Mom, I made it to the Olympic trials one year-TO WATCH!!
Swimmer Gary Hall and fellow American Olympian Jackie Joyner Kersee were both diagnosed with diabetes. So, the athletes try, against all odds and daily, hourly we try to beat the odds. THe most important thing is that we try, try and try again and then try some more to beat the odds. We can do no more and owe ourselves no less!
Some are able to persevere in spite of chronic illness, but more other than not, people with chronic illness may need to settle for, “I was there!” To me that is as successful as veni, wedi, wici; “I came, I saw, I conquered!”
And CONQUER WE DID; ANYONE WHO WAS ABLE TO MUSTER THE STRENGTH TO GET OUT OF BED today, overcame an odd and those of us with chronic illness, for whom getting out of bed is sometimes all we can do that day, have overcome an odd. When we salute the Olympians for making the team and competing, we MUST not forget to salute ourselves.