Okay so many of us are watching the Olympics. I have been a fan since a young child. I’m a walking encyclopedia of major Olympic moments. At least the ones that meant something to me. I can relive each element, all the drama, triumph and heartache. I usually end up crying as I do this. One of my favorite chapters in my books ever, was trying to create one of those “moments” in a Bombshell story.
I thought I might rank them – because I love lists – but this blog is really supposed to be about writing. So I went with number 1.
1984 – Ice Dancing (yes it’s a sport… sort of.) - Torville and Dean’s Bolero. I actually might have liked the Paso Doble (short program) better. When everyone was doing the matador and bull, they did the matador and his cape. She draped around him like an actual cape and he swung her around the ice and I was… mesmerized.
Then came Bolero. I dare any of you to Youtube it, start watching it and then look away. You can’t. It captures you. It enthralls you. It was a moment of true perfection. I talked about performance last week on the blog and in my mind this was the most masterful performance ever.
Then I remembered a documentary special I watched on this couple. They were making a comeback in 94 (They were robbed of gold! Robbed I say!) and the show was a look inside their relationship and training routine.
It was… awful. Christopher Dean was the harshest task master I had ever seen. He verbally abused Jayne on a regular basis regarding her weight, her skating ability and her commitment. He made them drill over and over and over again even when they were both past the point of exhaustion. She gritted her teeth and accepted his orders and the whole time I thought… Jayne, tell this guy he can go kiss it!
It was ugly. It was nasty. It was brutal.
But that’s what it took for them to reach perfection. That “moment” is a beautiful thing. Reading an amazing book is flat out fun. But what I will take from T&D and the subsequent documentary is getting to that point can be ugly. Long hours, pushing yourself past your limits, living with an evil task master, whether it’s your critique partner (no one should be so harsh as Dean) or your inner skeptic – which is probably harsher than Dean on his best day.
Perfection comes at a price. It’s why not everybody can get there. The question is do you want it? Do you really really want it?