So. We are in the thick of the Olympics, and no, I didn't think I would get sucked in, because how could I ever care as much as I did four years ago, and besides, I am having a busy summer - places to go, people to see, stuff to write..........
But somehow the sucking in has happened anyway. Reader, I have been glued to:
The riders with the double-barreled names who were too slow or knocked down too many fences.
Those women rowers who weren't supposed to get anywhere because one of them had come out of retirement aged 40 (!!!)
That skinny lad who got bronze flipping into impossible positions in the gymnastics
Those divers, not just Tom Daley, but that pair who got gold who share a house together in Harrogat... r somewhere..... one of whom was in a coma four years ago, not expected to walk again let alone dive.
Not to mention the cyclists, Frome worn to a skeleton, and those three young lads (I never understand the cycling races) who beat the New Zealanders to gold by a slither of a second.........
And on it goes. And the reason I mention it is because every time - EVERY.TIME - I watch this striving I find myself getting choked up. I cry. I cry if they lose and I cry if they win. And though some might say that is because I am turning into a sentimental old bat, I would refute that accusation and say instead that the older I get the more I am awestruck by the sheer ENDEAVOUR of which humans are capable. To TRY that hard at something over years and years, with all the manifold possibilities of failure staring you in the face - either through bad luck, or error, or simply not being good enough! - this to me is the essence of everyday heroism and it moves me deeply.