Olympic Hopeful

I have a dream… an Olympic dream. Mine isn’t quite like others. I just want to be there to observe and to write about my experience. I just want to breathe the crisp winter air and see magic transpire on the ice and snow, hoping for a day when I can compete again.

I first laced up ice skates at age five, and my parents tell me that the look on my face told them I was hooked.  I never had Olympic aspirations – I knew I didn’t have that kind of talent – but I also never lost my love for skating.  I kept at it, even after college, and I’m proud to say I’m a national adult figure skating medalist. Not at the highest level, but that doesn’t matter.

When I ended up on extended bed rest, suffering with nerve damage from the delivery of my daughter, I couldn’t skate, and that broke my heart. I never in a million years imagined the path that stood before me. As I’ve written here before, blogging really saved my sanity – and possibly my life – I was so depressed after my daughter was born, living in constant pain. Blogging became my window to the world, and it helped me find others who understood me, who I could converse with each day.

Now I find myself at a crossroads, with an amazing opportunity to win a trip I could never afford on my own to see an Olympics I could only dream of seeing in a city I’ve always wished to visit. I remember when I was in junior high school, my favorite computer game was Winter Games. I mastered the bob sledding, ski jumping, biathalon, hot dog, speed skating and of course figure skating. Maybe it’s silly, but through computers I learned about winter Olympic sports. To this day, that was my favorite computer game ever. But that and TV coverage were as close as I’ve come to the Olympics. Until now.

Now I have an unusual chance, thanks to the wonderful women of BlogHer who put their faith in me and encouraged me to apply for a contest that Microsoft is running where they will choose one woman blogger to attend the Olympics and the Consumer Electronics Shows this spring. I’m honored to have been selected as a semi-finalist in the contest. Since I blog about figure skating for BlogHer, it seemed a natural fit, especially since BlogHer’s readers are mostly American and Canadian. Now this is my Olympic dream – to represent BlogHer and Microsoft Office at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

I won’t kid anybody that travel isn’t still difficult sometimes, but I made it through South by Southwest last year and another major convention just as big. Those equate to the size and scope of the Olympics and CES, so I know I can do it. Something else happened to me when I was on bed rest: I learned to live in the moment and enjoy every little detail of what’s around me, rather than always focusing on the future and what I can’t control. Somehow in those moments, the frustration accompanying my pain goes away.

So this is my chance. My chance to win. My win is just to be able to go. My dream is to become a part of the international community that is honored to join together and celebrate global collaboration. My hope is to live vicariously through others achieving their Olympic dreams. And maybe find a little more hope for my own skating in the process.

For those who want to help me, all you have to do is vote: http://bit.ly/VoteSarah

Thank you.

Send Me to the Vancouver Winter Games!

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5 responses to “Olympic Hopeful

  1. Done! I hope you get it. Then I’ll know of two people going that I can live vicariously through! Dr. Renney is going too; he’s a Doping Control Officer.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! I posted ABC News’s link onto the PN forums. I’m sure it will please other patients to see you taking your history public.

    I hope you have an awesome time.

  3. Sarah, I just read your story on abcnews.com. It has been a revelation. In 2008, four months after giving birth to my daughter, I was diagnosed with SPD. My daughter is almost two years old, and my condition has declined to the point of where I no longer drive, can’t lift or carry her, and spend more time in a chair/bed than any 31 year old should ever have to. In two years, I’ve only found one doc who doesn’t think I’m crazy (very reassuring to say the least). I’d love to swap stories with you if you have the time or inclination. Just drop me an email anytime. Lord knows, I’m not going anywhere these days.

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