My parents recently brought back some of the last relics from my childhood.
In this case, it was a mishmash of mementos, mementos and, of course, sports cards.
One particular group caught my eye: a dozen signed cards from athletes who played in the 70s, 80s or 90s.
In my childhood, sports cards were a big deal, and we often went to sports card shows, sometimes at our local mall, sometimes at a convention center.
In many of these salons, you can purchase a card or item at a low cost and receive an autograph for free. I remember beaming when Mike Henneman, closest to the Tigers, had a little chat with me as he signed a few cards. I laughed as I remembered how I fumbled my answer when he asked me simple questions.
As a child, I had wide eyes whenever I met a professional athlete. I loved sports, and there was something special about seeing my heroes up close and personal.
It all reminds me of recent changes in my life and about the day – Simone Biles and her coming out of much of Olympic gymnastics competition due to mental and physical challenges.
As I put more years in the rearview mirror, the prospect of meeting a “celebrity” doesn’t appeal to me that much. I believe meeting an athlete or a celebrity can make a great story with friends, but it’s really just people like you and me: imperfect, triumphant, struggling, successful.
I think it’s healthy to assume that if a celebrity were at my lunch table, I’d try to have a normal conversation and treat that person like a human being.
Which brings me back to Biles. Much has been written about his decision to protect himself and not move forward with the overall competition in Olympic gymnastics after facing what gymnasts call ‘the twisties’, which means they lose their sense of purpose. orientation, up and down, while they are in the air. acrobatics.
My take on Biles is that it’s refreshing to see an athlete admit that she’s human, that she goes up and down like all of us. That she is not a machine.
I remember when the Olympics started there was so much fanfare around Biles. In one promotion, the network had him take a walk with a goat, as modern lingo dictates that GOAT means greatest of all time.
It’s a huge pressure on anyone, even a more athletic and seemingly more composed one than anyone else.
To me, it’s a reminder that athletes are not gods, celebrities are not gods, politicians are not gods. I believe there is only one true God, and he made us all in his image. Some of his creations are capable of making great scientific discoveries. Some are able to lead with inspiration. Some are able to twist, twist and flip like no athlete has done before.
But they’re all human and are all dealing with the same kind of stuff that we all do.
In Biles’ case, she took on a challenge on the biggest stage.
I applaud Biles for showing his human side. I can only imagine how difficult it is to “act” the way everyone wants them to. From the moment she reached the peak of her sport, she was expected to act and perform in a certain way.
Being on top of your world but having to act the expected way over and over again can crack a person. See Woods, Tiger and Spears, Britney.
Maybe we are heading into an era where people are more real to themselves and those around them.
Maybe we change our expectations a bit for those we admire, and we start to see their flaws as strengths.
Maybe in the process we shy away from celebrity worship a bit and extend both a healthy affection to those whose skills inspire us and a healthy understanding that they are people like us.
It is time that we value reality and be down to earth.