Post Olympic Depression has descended on Vancouver. Just what we need. Like Seasonal Affective Disorder wasn’t enough. So to escape it, I’ve drifted into a fantasy world where every day is the Olympics in my head. Oh, and I moved to San Francisco. Phew, I’m safe.

It truly was an incredible two weeks, and I’ve been trying to think of why. I came back to the city for the Olympics, but almost out of obligation, like I should be there, since they were in my city. The thrill of it all didn’t hit me until I arrived, and then it was almost instantaneous.

I guess there were a few reasons why Vancouverites were so caught up in it all. First off, it was fun. We don’t get much of that. People smiled at each other, talked to each other, cheered, partied, drank. A novel concept for this city. And it was pride. We had a chance to showcase our beautiful city to the world. We were the ‘locals’, full of local knowledge and local advice that we could impart as we pleased to unfortunate, groveling tourists. We were kind of a big deal.  And it was sport. Sport on it’s own is exciting enough, but when everyone, everyone who matters anyway, is cheering for the same team, the energy grabs you and shakes the bejeezes out of you.  We shared an identity as Canadians, and it brought us together.

But to me, what it really was, what truly made the Olympics great, was passion. The inspiration of observed passion. The envy of absolute dedication to a goal. We got behind our athletes because we see a passion in them that we wish we had. There is nothing in this world that I am as passionate about as any of those athletes are about their sport. I think it’s unusual these days, to be able to pour yourself so completely into one pursuit. A lot of us have lost that ability to focus. There are too many activities, distractions, boredom; there’s too much information. New jobs, new cities, new everything. Change.

Not that it’s a bad thing. I love the variety and probably couldn’t have it any other way. But when I see someone so committed to a path, to the point that, to them, there is nothing else, it brings a tear to my eye. It’s sheer joy to see them succeed, knowing what they’ve put into it. And it’s absolute devastation to see them fail, trying to imagine how they pick up the pieces when everything they’ve worked their entire lives for just flew out the window because they caught an edge. We experience the emotion alongside them – peaks and valleys that break us out of our steady flat state. In our lives, we’re too busy hedging our bets, weighing pros and cons, and seeking security to lay it on the line like these athletes. But watching the Olympics inspires us to dive right in. If we could all focus so wholly on one specific thing, I think the world would thank us for it.

Anyway, I’m kind of tired of writing. I wonder what’s on TV…

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