Life, Misc.

Good at life

So the Winter Olympics kick off this week! The opening ceremony is actually on live right now, as I type this, in the other room.

I feel bad for these athletes, in some ways.

First of all, we just had an Olympics. So I feel that some people who normally are really into the Olympics might be a little “over it”, in a way. The excitement factor I think comes from it being a novelty, something you haven’t seen in a while. Obviously with the 2020 games being rescheduled to 2021, this ended up smushing them together with these next Games. The boys even said, “Weren’t the Olympics just on??”

Then, there’s the whole ongoing COVID issues. Seeing huge empty arenas is so sad! I’ve watched a bunch of pre-coverage, and with all the COVID precautions, I can tell that the Olympic experience just isn’t even close to what it normally is. To train your whole life for this and then have it be….that…is probably really disappointing. Such is life in a global pandemic, of course, but still. What a massive bummer. I guess they are probably just glad the Olympics are happening at all. It’s still sad to see the empty arenas and the athletes performing to no crowd.

I saw the story of some athlete on the news- I forget which sport- who tested positive for covid well over 3 weeks before he was supposed to leave for China. (Totally asymptomatic case, but + on a routine test.) He had to keep testing to get a negative test for travel, and he has kept testing positive!!! (I’m assuming they must be requiring PCR.)

So he missed his travel window to make it in time, meaning he had to withdraw from the Olympics- even though we KNOW that scientifically speaking, there’s just no way he’s contagious at this point anymore. It’s the rules, I know…but wow. I can’t IMAGINE how heartbroken he must be. To be actively ill would still be devastating, but at least that would make sense. I think this would be worse, knowing that YOU’RE FINE now/recovered but still can’t compete.


Good at life

Some figure skating competition was on already last night, even though the Opening Ceremony wasn’t until today. We had it on, and they were doing a little bio thing on the legendary Nathan Chen.

As I was listening, I had to stop what I was doing and kind of gape at the TV. Obviously, we all know he is a freak of nature in figure skating- just phenomenally good. But I didn’t realize that he is: a) only 22 b) has been attending YALE(!!!) over these past few years while simultaneously dominating every single worldwide figure skating competition out there and c) a very highly acclaimed, extremely talented pianist too?!?!

After the bio ended, the announcer said, “Well. I’m feeling kind of lazy in talent after watching that.”

HA! Exactly what I was thinking!!! 🤣🤣

The boys and I, after having a discussion about Ivy League schools and their prestige/ difficulty to get into, were like, “Huh. I guess he’s just really good at life.”

As someone who is squarely parked in the “very common/average human” world myself, I’m always fascinated by people like this.

WHAT IS IT?? How are they so good at everything they touch?! (I’m sure they have their downfalls, too. But still. It’s so interesting to me! It’s clearly not normal, which I guess is what makes it so special. I can’t help but wonder though…Is there a secret?? Was it exceptional parenting? Genetics? Discipline? God-given talent? Probably a perfect combo of all of the above, I suppose. I can see being gifted in ONE thing, but when you see people that seem to excel all across the board, you do wonder.)

Anyway! Good for him. 🙂 I hope he does great at the Olympics! He seems like a nice kid. My mediocre family and I will cheer him on from our living room. Hehe!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for finishing up the bulk/ worst part of my volunteer job stuff last night. I’m glad to have that out of the way. It’s never totally done until the meet is over, but it’s a big weight off.

9 thoughts on “Good at life”

  1. I love that – “good at life”!
    Some people really are. I notice it with people who seem to be so clearly at ease in their bodies and themselves, people who just exist in a state of carefreeness. Or appear to.

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  2. I’m excited for the Olympics too, even though yes, it just feels like we had one.
    It’s funny, sometimes I think being “good at life” is just managing to pay my bills on time and remembering to hug my kids.
    I went to an Ivy League school and I feel almost embarrassed to admit it because I am definitely not good at life – it isn’t false modesty to say that a lot of people were surprised when the acceptance letter came in the mail. I did go to school with some incredibly accomplished people – like my roommate who went on to grad school at Julliard and then studied neuroscience at Stanford. But there were also a lot of very average people who just worked hard at high school and had a lot of luck and opportunity. And yes, privilege. I do think it is more competitive to get in now than it was 25 years ago, though. But the good thing is, hopefully, the criteria schools look for is now diversifying. Having come through an Ivy League school, I find there is something really problematic in how prestigious they are perceived to be especially when you can get an amazing education at really any university out there. It just creates an elitism that is polarizing.
    There was an episode on The Mom Hour podcast where they talked to the Kelly Rippon, mom of figure skater Adam Rippon and she said something that really stuck with me – apparently Adam’s sister was an incredibly talented gymnast, but at some point she decided that the life of being an Olympic caliber athlete wasn’t the kind of life she wanted – Rippon said, it’s all about choice and priorities and knowing what really makes you satisfied.

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  3. I am more of a summer olympics than winter olympics person but look forward to having some different things to watch besides stuff from streaming services. I didn’t realize skating was on last night, though. Otherwise I would have tuned in instead of hate-watching the show we are finishing up on Netflix (Archive 81 – do not watch it. We are too far in to abandon it and want to see what happens. We found it because it was a top-rated show on Netlflix. HOW.) I thought of you yesterday when I watched the latest TIU episode. I agree it was a good one. Although I did loudly gasp and say ‘OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD’ on the last episode when Deja gets the texts from her boyfriend during her driving lesson! Phil was putting Paul to bed and came down and said – ‘why were you just yelling?’ Whoopsies. I think that was last week’s episode?

    Anyways, in reference to the Chen skater – it seems like the athletic talent does come down to genetics, or genetics are a big factor? And then hard work. Super hard work. My friend’s daughter is very into figure skating. I think she is on the ice 6 times a week, maybe even 7, sometimes twice a day? She is 11. I DO NOT GET IT. I have considered asking what the end game is – the olympics?? Skating in college (is this a thing?? I don’t know). I want our kids to be involved in athletics and extracurriculars and such. And if they are really passionate about something, I’ll support it – to an extent. I don’t think I would personally want to raise an olympian, though… Is that bad? Similarly, I wouldn’t want my child to become President of the US. I just think some pursuits require so much sacrifice and is it worth it in the end?? But looking at my terrible athletic abilities, it is so very unlikely that either of our kids will be great enough to be an olympian… Phil is very athletic but not enough to offset me, I think. We’ll see!

    I’m a fellow very average human over here! But below average for ball-based sports and above average for excel skills!

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  4. I think “good at life” is so relative. People that are good at skating or some artistic talent (say piano) would often be classified in this way…but what if they have really terrible tempers? Or are absolute slobs. I’m not saying any of this is true of Chen, but I think we’ve gotten to the point in society where certain behaviours/abilities are seen as better than others. I fall in to the same trap and get very discouraged which what I can manage. But I’ve read enough biographies to know that most of the time people are at the top, something had to be sacrificed to get there. My husband and I just watched a documentary about a figure skater who was separated from her family for YEARS to train in Russia. Like school and skating was ALL she was allowed to do. I realize Chen’s experience is likely very different, but I often feel sad for people that are SO successful in their field because they often have some sort of tragedy.

    Wow – that was a BIG tangent.

    I LOVE the Olympics and am very bummed that I’m not excited this time. The time zone difference, COVID, the tensions with China and the fact we just had an Olympics are making me very blah about them. I’m really, really hoping I get over this because I have such amazing memories of the Olympics and I know we have a long time until another winter one. This post is inspiring me to start watching!

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    1. Totally agree here, I love reading memoirs, and all “conventionally successful” people have had to give up some part of life that I would not imagine giving up. Not seeing family, not having friends, not showing up to someone’s funeral because of work commitments… the guilt would eat me up.

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  5. I have found these recent Olympics so challenging. I do want to support athletes who have worked so hard, but I also don’t really feel like supporting China. I’m struggling.

    I wonder if Nathan Chen is happy. I mean, he’s obviously very talented and successful, but is he a happy man? Does he settle into bed knowing he’s loved and excited for the next day or is he just a ball of nerves? I just hope he’s happy and enjoying life in all his crazy busy life.

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  6. I think it’s easy to judge someone else to have a good life and forget what they went through to get it. Obviously you need to have so many stars aligned to make it happen, hard work is still the foundation of any success (whatever the definition of success). I stopped judging people how lucky they are to have the life they have because everything comes with effort and cost. 🙂
    you know what’s funny? I see many non-chines people talking about the Winter Olympics, and I’m so not into it, I even didn’t want to watch the opening. I know… so no Chinese of me.

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  7. Ok, I’ll just say it. I don’t follow any sport and certainly not the Olympics. I just don’t see the point? For me sports is about being healthy and having fun, and the Olympics is… not that. 🙂 I think the “good at life” comment is an interesting one because we only see the outside projection of people. I really started being more critical about labelling famous people as being better or worse than us after seeing what happened to the founder of Zappos. Also have you heard of Elizabeth Holmes? She was also held up as the next Steve Jobs but has now been convicted of fraud. (P.s. I totally recommend reading the book about her, called Bad Blood.)

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