Thursday, June 28, 2012

A little more Nastia

Apologies for the Nastia Liukin overload but a piece I wrote about her after Nationals is now up on Jezebel. I realize that there has been a lot of nastiness and snark directed at her since she competed at Visa Championships, her performance put a few questions in my mind--why did she come back and why so late? She certainly is not ignorant of what it takes to succeed at the elite level so why the months of wavering (during which time she made no fans and accrued many haters).

Was this just Nastia trying to remain the spotlight, as many have accused. Perhaps it played a part. But I think the reasons go deeper. Liukin is having the same difficulty that many elites have moving on from gymnastics (and who can blame her? I sucked and it took me ages until I gave up trying). Also, Nastia is experiencing the same problems as the rest of us when it comes to aging--we intellectually get that it's happening but it's hard for us to process it.

I spent years treating my body like, well, shit, working out hard and injured, thinking that the only thing I had to concern myself with is being able to endure the pain. For a long time, I never considered the consequences beyond the pain. It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally realized that I was getting older and far from "sticking it" to the doctors, I was only "sticking it" to myself in the long term.  It was then that I realized that I couldn't just bounce back, that I was getting older. It was an unpleasant and harsh jolt to reality.

Maybe this is what is happening with Ms. Liukin. Perhaps not. I am not a mind reader. This is just a fun bit of speculation.

You can read the whole thing here.

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