Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Olympics, Singing, and Life

I generally curl up with a book if someone decides to watch sports. They bore me for the most part. However, I do have a love for the Olympics, winter and summer. I'll cheer for pretty much any country, especially the Europeans and Canada. It's not the competition that draws me to it. If that were the case, I'd like the usual sports more. It's the athletic heights that the athletes reach, their amazing ability and grace. I love it.

My favorite winter Olympic sport is figure skating. I've loved watching it since I was little. The skaters are so graceful. There's something in a skater's posture and face when a routine is done well, something that beams a mixture of excitement and relief. I've always thought it was one of the most beautiful parts.

As a high school student, I would go to choir competitions. I liked listening to the sound of a choir wash over me. I especially enjoyed listening to solos and small ensembles. There, like in the Olympics, I could focus on an individual. At the end of a song well sang, the singer's shoulders relax and a small smile emerges. It reminds me of the skaters, their excitement and relief rushing out and blending together.

Occasionally, I'll even listen to the reporters during the Olympics. Sometimes you hear them say that an upcoming part is difficult for the particular athlete. When I heard them say that about one of the skaters this year, I realized that in a way singers are more like traditional athletes than we tend to think. There's always that one part of a good song for a singer, that one part that is tricky, a jump in notes or change in rhythm. Sometimes we mess up obviously, even enough for those who don't know the music to tell. Just like the figure skaters who fall, we have to jump back in and finish like nothing happened. It's a lot like life too, now that I think about it. Figure skating, singing, and living are all art forms. We push the boundaries that we think are there. We break the mold and shine, just like Christ intended us to.

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