The comeback kid
Along the Trail
I suppose it was inevitable for a sports junkie. As life moves inescapably on, I find myself a little less glued to the tube, but still I watch when a special event is on. The World Series, the Brier, NFL playoffs all find me staring at the flickering images on the flat screen in front of me. It’s the day to day that has dropped off the radar, the “game of the week” in whatever sport. There is saturation now, and it has dulled my interest.
The recent winter Olympics proved to be an exception to my growing disinterest. I minded the 12-hour time difference and never did figure out if I was watching tomorrow’s event or last night’s action. It dampened, but did not kill my interest.
This “orgy of sport” happened at a fortuitous time. Deep in the month of February, I found myself clicking back and forth between the aquarium channel and the delayed broadcast of the St. Andrew’s, N.B., town council meetings. It was Ground zero of terminal boredom. Then everything exploded in a dazzle of leaping, sliding, twisting, jumping and spinning. There were people from places that I had never heard of, all trying for Olympic glory. Incredible dedication for as little as 40 seconds of exposure. I particularly admired those who engaged in sports they had absolutely no chance of winning, such as biathlon. Slogging away in 125th place, so far back they needed a helicopter to find the first skier, yet they endured. That must be the true Olympic spirit.
Watching this endless display of frozen athleticism, I began to ponder my own personal comeback. Now strictly speaking, “comeback” is a stretch. The definition of comeback, according to Funk and Wagnall is “a return, as to health or position.” Except for curling at a very young age, I never had a position to come back to.
I quickly ruled out cross country skiing (too arduous for this Winnie-the Pooh physique). All the snowboarding and skiing events were hopeless as well. I had never done them when young, and now I could picture an onset of Vertigo. I would be the “lawn dart” of Pyeonchang.
After careful consideration, I almost settled on two-man luge. All you had to do was run a little, jump up on the belly of your fellow luger and hang on for dear life. Then I looked at the outfits: skin tight, form fitting, smooth as silk. If you had a mole, you couldn’t get the suit on. There is too much sand down this hour glass to make that my comeback sport.
The successful event would have to be something that looked a little dangerous (what didn’t), took some, but not a lot of time, and required a quick, short burst of exertion.
Then I saw it! Two-man bobsled. Absolutely perfect! A short, quick run, jump into the sled and hang on, only the top of your helmet sticking out. If you were the lead bobber”, you didn’t even need to steer, just hunker down and enjoy the ride, terrifying as it might be. How bad could it get in 40 seconds? Yep. Two-man bob it is.
Olympic glory is less than four years away. Time for a little dry land training at Baddeck Forks.