Have you spent any time watching the XGames?
Any of the sports?
But, especially, right now, the winter sports like snowboarding and skiing and flipping-all-over-the-place-100-feet-in-the-air-with-a-450pound-snowmobile-flying-over-your-head that are going on right now in Aspen?
Holy breath holding.
Especially for a parent.
Because that adrenaline infused exuberant bravado that these “kids” have --- defying gravity, flying in various directions at the same time, contorting their bodies, and landing, at times, flat on their heads, rag-dolling themselves all over the snow….. it’s enough to send my own brain to the ER for stress relief.
But, amazingly, many of these young athletes seem as though they are made of Stretch-Armstrong (note: not Lance Armstrong) like material, as they merely BOUNCE along the snow in cataclysmic looking crashes. And then they lay there as we count the seconds….
Is he going to get up? Is she moving? Is he going to MAKE IT???? And then, with a shake of the head, arm, leg, they get up, face the cameras and SMILE. Duuuuuuuuuude!
The revelation? They BOUNCE. These kids bounce.
And I am reminded. As our own kids get stronger and begin to also defy gravity at a superior level, I am reminded of the countless hours at the playground and even at home when a startling, heart-stopping crash has happened, and before we have the chance to screech or dash-over or dial 911, wait-for-it, wait-for-it, our toddler stands up, dusts herself off, and heads back up to the tippy top of the pointy part of the dangerous place on the slide from whence he had just fallen.
Amen, little guy.
So, it seems our kids are born with incredible resilience to hard ground. (And we not-kids are now learning that we are, ahem, less bouncy.)
So clip on those ski boots and rev up those engines. It’s going to be a fun ride, no matter how hard they fall.
Namaste & Three Cheers! -OM
p.s. Here's a clip of a not-crash, snowmobile, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me run from the Aspen XGames a few days ago, featuring Gold Medal winner Levi Lavallee.
UPDATE: January 31, 2012 --- Horrible, horrible news just came in that Caleb Moore, snowmobiler, has died from his crash during his Snowmobile Freestyle run at the Aspen XGames 2013. As a reader commented, they don't always bounce. And it's tragic when this happens. Awful and tragic. Our hearts go out to Caleb's family right now. Be safe.