To be the best

I must have seen at least ten medal ceremonies of the Winter Olympics that just ended yesterday. I mostly watched the ones where the gold medal winners were Canadian. Every time, without fail, I cried as they played the national anthem. I deliberately watched a medal ceremony where it wasn’t Canada who won, just to see if maybe I was just being patriotic, yet I still cried.

I think KoD was a little taken aback with these specific tears – because really, it doesn’t seem logical. I tried to explain to him why I cry, why I am so moved. (He is used to me crying at commercials and movies, and really, pretty much at the drop of a hat….)

Imagine, being the best in the world at something. Working most of your life towards this one goal, that may one day be attainable. Due to hard work, talent, blood, sweat, tears and perseverance, you achieve your goal. To be awarded a medal for that achievement, to have won that medal for your country – that is huge. To be able to tell yourself that you are the best in the world. How many people get that chance in a lifetime? Being crowned the best is truly an awesome moment. Humbling and self-affirming all at once. It is indeed a God-given moment. I cry because I recognize the gift in that moment and my soul is touched.

I know I will never be the best at any sport, nor pretty much the best at anything other than being the best mother and wife. I am totally ok with that. I don’t need a gold medal or a country cheering me on. I am content to know I try my best every single day to be the best me I could possibly be. But what a trip that would be to be awarded a medal for being the best HSM I could be.

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  1. J says:

    I hereby award you the gold medal for attaining the best HSM standard in the world.
    Kol Hakavod
    Can you hear the Hatikva as you stand on the podium?

    • HSaboMilner says:

      I have a long way to go to be the best HSM I can be – life is a continuing process of self improvement….but thanks, J!

  2. shorty says:

    I have actually raced in provincial mountain bike series. two different provinces. my best season was coming in second in the province in my category. I know (roughly) what it means to train daily to be the best one can be. I met my goal, which actually was to complete every race that i registered in the series. This is a an accomplishment because with mountain biking, other than body giving up, there is a lot of mechanics to rely on (ie bike).
    But once i was done, i had a feeling of “ok, so now what?” and now i see my friends, now in their mid and late thirties, not being intimate with their partners, why? because their lives revolve around racing. That is why i “retired”. My marriage was suffering and my life was always about the next race. And i was only racing at the mid-level. Elite level athletes, eat sleep and live their sport, despite what the nice little blurbs say about them . Yes they probably do have a very supportive family, one that watches from the stands. But this relationship is very one sided – its a lot of take.
    It is nice when the the athlete does eventually give back to the sport, and talks to youth. Assuming that is the path that an athlete chooses to take. (Incidentally, i did teach mountain biking, maintained trails and advocated). But again, its still all about the sport.
    Yes, it is nice to get a medal, but Hadassah, stick to being the best YOU – its a much more balanced and ultimately meaningful goal, then standing on any podium, or listening to any anthem.
    just my take.

  3. For me, a lot of the emotional aspect of sports victories has been taken away by all the cheating and disgusting behavior by professional athletes. Also by a men’s hockey team winning a gold medal, despite having lost only a week before to the team who won silver :( ok, so maybe I’m a little bitter, we all knew how the games work in the olympics.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      you make a valid point – but they were awesome games!!

      • They really were, fortunately my grandparents didn’t mind that half the family ran to the other room to watch the overtime in the middle of the Purim Seudah. I’m not really upset that Canada won, it really shouldn’t have been that close, considering how much talent they have. I just wish it was someone other than Crosby that got the game winning goal.

  4. Z! says:

    Hadassah, I know what you mean. It is an incredibly wonderful feeling to represent your fellow countrymen and feel vindicated. The athletes make us proud because they went out there and gave it everything that had. They fight a good fight. The competition seems, on the surface at least, very healthy.
    Yes, one little mistake costs the other team a gold, but that is the point. Every country sends their best, and the best wins.

  5. swiss says:

    I just started crying when I read in the newspaper that 40 people came from their little mountain village to the airport in Zurich to welcome ski-jumping champion Simon Amman.

    It just touched me…

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