Olympic Quick Takes


The Olympics–especially the winter Olympics– are the only sports events I’m ever interested in watching. As I type tonight we’re watching ski cross. Does anybody else just get a queasy sense of vertigo when the athletes come around that big curve and launch over the edge of a cliff?


Me with my dad at Lake Taho, Jan 2006
Me with my dad at Lake Tahoe, Jan 2006

I have been skiing twice. When I was twelve, I fell and couldn’t get up, and I quit. But when Alex was a baby, I tried again. We went to Tahoe with my mother’s family, and Christian and I took turns taking care of the baby. My dad was supposed to watch Alex for one afternoon so the two of us could ski together, but Christian tore his meniscus that morning. So my dad took me out instead. At the end of the afternoon, the sun slanting steeply across the mountain, Dad said, “You’re doing well enough, I think you could handle a blue run.” So up we went. I was getting shaky in the legs from tiredness when we crossed the black run and swept around a final corner and I found myself facing what looked like a vertical dropoff to the base of the mountain.

“I can’t do that!” I wailed. “I’m taking my skis off and walking down!”

“Yes, you can. No, you’re not,” my dad said patiently. “Just make wide sweeps back and forth, and you’ll be fine.”

I don’t quite remember how I got down that, er, “hill.” I do know I fell down a lot, and I know my poor dad didn’t get to enjoy his last run of the day.

It's worth going skiing just for this view from the top of the mountain.
It’s worth going skiing just for this view from the top of the mountain.


As long as we’re discussing Olympic sports, let me focus on my favorite for a minute. I just found out that Dorothy Hamill runs a dream ice skating camp for adults? Supposedly it’s open to all levels. That’s on my bucket list.


Bedtime reading has been suspended for the duration of the Olympics. The whole family is glued to the TV (with the possible exception of Michael Mayhem). When I picked Nicholas up from school Thursday I interrupted an Olympic marathon. He and his classmates had just finished bobsled runs (he won the gold) and ice skating (they were using paper plates as skates).


Keeping to the Olympic theme, I’m grateful that the concerns about security have been addressed enough to prevent the bombings we were all worrying about.

It was interesting to see Putin in the first days. He just looked so flat and unemotional. He wasn’t much of a salesman for Russia being an inviting place. Come to think of it, I remember feeling a great deal of frustration with Putin in an earlier era of my life. If he hadn’t fired his entire cabinet, thus throwing the adoption bureaucracy into chaos and adding a year to the adoption wait, we might actually have gotten to go through with the Russian adoption. Don’t get me wrong; I love my children and I believe my family is what it was meant to be, but I still wonder, with a pang, what our family might have looked like if not for Putin’s political mess.


This week began with a funeral for the husband of a musician friend. I took Julianna and Michael along (they apparently took angel pills that morning, because they were phenomenally well-behaved). It is always a privilege and an honor to help with music for a funeral, but this one even more so than most, as I got to work with a huge collection of music ministers from around the diocese and beyond. Since then the week has turned into a sprint of music writing, which is incredibly energizing. Actually, so was running yesterday morning. It felt so good to exercise outside. And then Michael strong-armed me into a ride in the Burley, so I got to enjoy the 68-degree morning while it lasted. Which was good, because the temperatures plummeted after lunch.


Everyone who weighed in this week on my blog burnout said the same thing: it’s the kid stories, Kate. I am pondering some redirection, and working out an idea for the season of Lent. And while I do I’ll leave you with this:

Toothbrush Headbands

Have a great weekend!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about cool book moments, bestseller bling, overcommitting myself (again), and doing a 5K in a palanquin