I had a flashback to my childhood today. It wasn’t pretty. I flipped on the Olympics after getting back from my morning run, expecting to see something fun. I was treated to women’s mountain biking… Perfect!
Then it happened – in the middle of the race NBC cut to coverage of… Rhythmic Gymnastics?! Good God it was horrible! All at once, memories of my mother guarding the tv clicker like a hawk to watch Rhythmic Gymnastics more than 30 years ago! That very well could have been the most traumatic experience of my preteen years, having to sit through that. Now kids, we didn’t have much in the way of video games way back then and the only phone available had a pig-tail chord attached to it and plugged into the wall – and you sure as hell couldn’t play a game on it. When mom wanted to watch Rhythmic Gymnastics, better labeled dancing with balls, sticks and a long freaking ribbon (and a stick), we were stuck playing Clue or watching…that!
I never realized just how much that scarred me until my eyes fell on that heavily made-up woman rolling around on the ground looking longingly…at a ball. Then the commentator called the…ball an apparatus and the horrific flashback was complete. The world started spinning, the edges fading to a bright white. I thought to myself, “nooooo, don’t go to the light!”
My eldest daughter, God bless her, brought me back from the brink. Her voice, tinny and distant, called to me, “Father, what, pray tell, is this”? Nah, she just asked, “Dad, what is this “? I said, “junk” and quickly turned the channel to hand ball.
Man, that was a close call!