I love the Olympics. More specifically, I love Olympic gymnastics.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have cleared my schedule to watch the Olympic. I am flabbergasted by the strength of these women. There is something moving about watching someone in the midst of accomplishing her dreams. The one she worked for all her life.
This year was the first year that I watched the Olympic trials. The trials are interesting because the top gymnasts in the world are competing for a slot on the Olympic team of five women. The women compete in four varying routines: floor, vault, bars, beam. Each gymnast receives a separate score for each, which together amounts to the total score.
I always assumed that the Olympic team was made of the five best all-around participants. This year, I learned that this isn’t the case. After competing, the results revealed that two of the women in the top five did not receive a placement on the team. Instead, the women finishing in 7th and 8th place replaced them. Why is this?
The announcers explained that the judges who were picking the team were not looking for experts in each specific area and not consistency. The best way to describe it is that Mykayla, the 4th place finisher, was good at all four areas, whereas others were weak in some areas but an expert in one. The girl finishing 8th earned a spot on the Olympic team because she was easily the best uneven bars competitor.
As I heard the names called, I understood the logic. But my heart broke for Mykayla because I, also, feel good at many things, instead of an expert at one thing. Growing up, I was proud to hold many interests. I adapted well to different settings and felt like a melting pot of passion and talent. But now, I have days that I wish I were the best at one. I wish that I had spent my life building up an expertise, rather than exploring many passions.
It seems of little value that I’m pretty good at photography, writing, interpersonal relationships, academics, creativity, and administration. There is someone that is an expert behind a camera even though she failed math class. She is superior in her talent, whereas I seem to fall behind all those one talent experts. I feel the discouragement of being a seven out of ten in four categories. I feel weaker than those who are an eleven out of ten in one area even with several remaining weak skills.
I know that this isn’t true, but it’s how I feel today. Mykayla didn’t make the team. Most days, job postings and interviews turn into my proverbial Olympic trials, and I’m left thinking I won’t make the team.
I normally have some sort of resolution; but today, that is all I have to say. And that’s okay. Because today, the girl who wore many hats through life wishes that she would’ve just invested in one expensive hat instead. If you can relate, leave a comment below.