Sunday, August 26, 2012

Father Time

When I was a kid, time never seemed to move. I was in fifth grade forever. I was never ever going to be old enough to drive. Graduation felt like it would likely be the next century. I was a missionary for an eternity.

And then I got a grown up job. And an apartment. And loads of responsibility and deadlines and time started to speed up. I worked on events and then I worked around product development calendars and the sped up time compounded. I never feel caught up and I never feel like I have enough time to do and see and be all the things on the list.

So it's hard to explain exactly why the time since I got on the plane to Knoxville on July 6 has gone by at a glacial pace. I have felt every second of every one of the last 56 days (!). Good and bad. My friend Sarah nailed the way the Olympics feel over lunch a few weeks ago (seriously I have been here forever) when she said, "no one else sees that this thing is one hour of glory for every sixteen hours of gut wrenching work." That hour of glory is unreal, but those sixteen hours of work are relentless. The phone doesn't stop. The emails don't stop. The "hey Katie will you? did you? where's the? can I have the?" won't stop. Every day you are dealing with people who have been dreaming pretty much their whole lives to be where they are. That pressure is always sitting there, reminding you that yes, while these are just Team USA shirts and shoes, you are talking to a kid who watched Flo Jo wearing HER Team USA shirts and shoes when she was seven and that's why she's standing in front of you today looking for the right size. You do have to get this right. That pressure has taken the form of more than a few weepy moments in bathrooms, closets, post staff meeting warehouses, a knot in my back that actually made the physio from the Fencing team laugh out loud when he felt it and one semi-bad decision to follow the Comms team to the Omega House at 11:30 pm on a work night.

I wrote my sister an email mid-way through the Games telling her that if I talked about wanting to go to Sochi she should remind me I hate this. I'm sitting here with two days left of Paralympic Processing wondering why on earth I would ever stop doing this.

I've said it before and I'll say it now-events are a tiny lifetime. Maybe I'm just in junior high now and that's why graduation feels miles away. I can already think of fifteen ways I could do this better and more efficiently a scant sixteen months from now with the Winter team. I've seen color boards for Opening Ceremony outfits and I'd sure love to see how cool my pal who coaches the US Halfpipe Team looks in them.

Until then, I have about 120 hours left in London. I expect the 5 glorious ones will get my brain all turned around so I forget the 115 I have to gut out.

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