8/10/08

Yay, Michael Phelps' Mom!

AP photo

Baltimore’s very own Michael Phelps set a world record on Saturday in his first swimming event at the Beijing Olympics. And afterwards, he was focused on finding his mom in the stands. Awww…

I saw an interview with Debbie Phelps where she talked about how swimming was a great outlet for her very high-energy boy, who never stopped talking or asking questions. Hmmm, I know a kid like that... Think if we squeezed Miles into a tiny Speedo over his swim diaper and signed him up for swimming he could be in the 2020 Olympics?

I have to say, as someone who doesn’t normally get excited about televised sports, I have been riveted to the Olympics so far. Partly, it’s exciting that Phelps is from my own town. In fact, he’s practically my neighbor. He grew up several blocks up from us; C. has seen him at the neighborhood pizza place. Our dog may even have peed on his lawn before.

But really, I admire any world-class athlete. I felt a surge of patriotic pride watching the women beach volleyball players spike ball after ball into their opponents’ faces, even as I wondered whether their wedgies distracted them and had they ever considered wearing shorts. I watched wide-eyed as the male gymnasts with the tree-trunk biceps performed stunning physical feats, as I lay on the couch wondering if I should go for that second ice cream sandwich. (I did.)

And who knew so many of the athletes were mothers? Check out this cute photo gallery of Olympic moms with their babies. Like Dara Torres, the 41-year-old swimmer and mother of a 2-year-old. Where on earth does she find the energy to train? And does her husband count that as her “alone time”? Or weight lifter Melanie Roach, the 33-year-old mother of 3, including an autistic son. Somehow, though, weight lifting doesn’t seem like much of a stretch for most moms.

I used to wish my parents had pushed me harder at sports. Then instead of being mediocre at a handful of sports, maybe I, too, could have been an Olympic contender. Oh, who am I kidding? I never had the build to be a serious gymnast. And I can barely swim half a lap. I might have had a shot at tennis, but who wants to practice 6 hours a day when there are boys and parties and the beach, thought my teenage self. Besides, being an Olympian has got to put a lot of pressure on a kid.

Even so, I can just picture Miles beaming with pride up on the podium one day, telling reporters that he owes his gold medal to the most supportive, most loving, most important person in his life, who made him the man he is today -- his Mommy. Hey, a mom can dream!

LINK O’ THE WEEK: More cute pics of baby’s first Olympics.

ADDICTION O’ THE WEEK: Utz salt & pepper potato chips. No, they’re not getting me any closer to my Olympic dreams, but I can’t put them down!!

5 comments:

Kelli said...

You are too funny...peed on his lawn. hahaha! Go Michael Phelps!

I am in awe of these gifted athletes. I can't even do a cartwheel. How sad is that? My daughter was watching the gymnasts tonight and said, "Mommy, I want to roll like that."

Little Gym, here we come!

McMommy said...

So funny that you wrote this!! Because we have been telling Matty "You can be in the Olympics too! What sport do you like??"

And he says "No. Nothing. I don't want to."

Great. He's already making me feel like an overbearing stage mom.

lizarosenberg said...

I wanted to be a gymnast, but gave that dream up after falling off the balance beam while doing a forward roll. Sigh...

nathalie said...

I love that you wondered if her husband considers that her "alone" time. And that you went for the second ice cream sandwich.

lizarosenberg said...

My 4 yr-old decided this morning that he wants to be a diver, and wanted to know if I'd come watch him perform in the Olympics. Then he wanted to know if we'd get there on a big plane or a little plane...

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