Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bode Miller is a Poet

Do not understand the whole Bode Miller controversy. Am not emotionally invested with the James Frey to-do (which does make me wonder why I am having such a problem with Truth these days, but that's a story for another blog).

But Bode Miller . . . here is a man after my own heart--and, Marsha, you know what I mean. I was reading about him in Newsweek and just not getting it. So the man parties. So he's in it not for the glory and the fame, but because--well, what did he say? He basically says he's into the pure experience of skiing, and he does seem relatively credible. He objects to people who are pressuring him to make it all about medals. He points out that, "defining your criteria for success is easier when you suck. As you get better, it becomes harder, because the steps you take are smaller and smaller."

He also says, "for me, the ideal Olympics would be to go in with all that pressure, all that attention and have performances that are literally tear-jerking, that make people put their heads down because they're embarrassed at how emotional they're getting, that make people want to try sports, talk to their kids, call their fucking ex-wives--and come away with no medals. I think that would be fucking epic. That would be the perfect thing."

Do you have to have grown up in New England or the western snow states to understand this and recognize this type of person? How many people out there have I known or known vaguely who share this attitude--well, a whole lot of people from my high school. They're in it for the experience, aware of their relative expertise or suckdom, and the whole thing just doesn't matter--it's about the perfect day, the perfect snow conditions, the perfect run, the perfect adrenaline high. The chance to angle for the world's most ideal job, which is being on the ski patrol, because then they're paying you to ski, man, and you get to do any run you want, screw the danger. And they'll take any sucky job to pay for their season pass and additional lift tickets, and to save up for some good equipment. Some of them grow out of this at 30, some at 40, some never.

Dude, Bode Miller is a poet. Because you just don't necessarily pursue this stuff for the fame and glory. You do it for the experience, for the rush, for the chance to create something ephemeral that is, fleetingly, perfect.

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