Opinions are like assholes. Some are more- unpleasant than others. Recently, some unkind opinions about my work were availed to me and I wondered what to do about it. Now obviously I can’t go pleasing every hater out there. I already have a full time job. And as Taylor said: haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate… and to be honest, I don’t have the capacity to keep trying to get them to change their minds. Or care about their vitriol.
However, I have noticed a group of people who are universally loved. Their names are chanted from rooftops and they are worshipped by a bandwagon of armchair cheerleaders. When they falter- it’s ok. Something had to have gone wrong for them. Their mistakes are forgivable. Their transgressions- forgettable. When they conquer, they become gods. Until at least their twitter hashtags stop trending. And I think if I joined this elite club of demigods- perhaps I could get a solution to stop the contempt. Have you figured out who I am talking about? Why, the Olympians of course.
Olympic athletes are a special class of athletes. Every four years, the best of the best from the world meet to determine who the best of the best of the best. Some of them do it so compellingly that anybody with a bitter bone in their bodies towards them should be shot. In the head. Twice. People like Usain Bolt, Almaz Ayana, David Rudisha, Simone Biles et cetera- have entered a hall of the immortals only previously graced by unique greats like Pele and Ali. Others like our local medalists such as Vivian Cheruiyot, Jemima Sumgong, Eliud Kipchoge, Conseslus Kipruto and Julius Yego are on their way to becoming immortal. Their names etched in sporting history for our children to read about, admire and hopefully- if you’re a good parent- emulate.
Understandably, these people work very hard to get to the Olympics. They toil and practice day, night and whatever other unknown periods to get the fitness they require to achieve these things. And that’s a tall order for me. I am almost as unfit as Henry VIII and becoming an Olympian may not be the most effective way to get haters to ease up off my back.
However if certain events were added to the Olympics roster, then maybe I could be. I was already a bit of a pole vault whiz as a child but my aunts would give me a whooping with the bamboo stick I used to jump over the neighbourhood river. So I promptly gave it up after my backside became as taut as a leather drum after a walloping. Rhythmic gymnastics -the gymnastics that involve ribbons and hula hoops- wouldn’t really work anymore because I gave up my rudimentary bike tyre hula hoop in favour of a BMX. I can’t compete in cycling either because I am afraid of getting calves like Serena Williams’. So what’s left of our potential childhood events?
We have the likes of bano– played with marbles. The objective was to eliminate other marble owners by hitting theirs then successfully sinking your marble into the central hole. It has way more rules than that but those were varied according to different locations- so that can’t work. Perhaps chobo ua– where if an opponent kicked something between your legs, the other players could beat you until you changed your genetic structure. But that may flout too many violence regulations. So would “bendings” where bending over made you a target and your opponents would spank or kick you.
The options are endless, there is hopscotch. Or that game where marbles or tiny round objects would be put in a circle then you toss up one marble and take out all the objects while the marble is still airborne. Then you toss the marble again and return all the objects into the hole except one. I don’t even know if that game had a name but I was gold medal material in that.
There was musical chairs which was mostly played at birthday parties and during school events. A group of people would be assembled and chairs arranged for them. Only there would be one less chair relative to the number of people. Music is played and once it’s stopped, the last one left standing is out. A chair is taken out and the game continues until one chair is left for two people. Last man sitting is the winner. Although, I am too professionally clumsy to be successful at this one.
The options are endless and the opportunities even more so. If anyone has any idea of how to get these beloved childhood games as Olympic events, please let me know how it’s done. Then perhaps the naysayers could find something else to yap about like my Olympic greatness.
Regardless, many congratulations to our Olympic athletes. I know the Olympics ended a couple of days ago but my compliments still count, right? Right!?
Photo source: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=kenya+olympics+2016