the demonic subconscious
I think one of the more interesting places to be as an athlete and a human being would be a champion at a certain event in the Paralympics. For those who don’t know, the Paralympic Games are for athletes who have physical disabilities; spinal injuries, mobility disabilities, amputations, etc.
Here is the part that would be weird. You are the best at a certain event… but only until someone who is better at it gets paralyzed or an arm lopped off. Imagine working hard and training for the Paralympics and at the same time hoping that nobody at the last minute gets hurt that happens to do what you do. If a bus full of football players flips over on a highway somewhere all the Paralympic athletes who throw the shot put from a wheelchair would suddenly feel terrible about this crash but at the same time they’d be going “Oh fuck! I hope nobody is paralyzed from the waist down.” Then if they hear that one of the lineman was in fact paralyzed from the waist down they would, as a fellow human being, be filled with the desire to reach out to them and tell them the wonders of competing in the Paralympics and how it gives you a reason to keep working and staying in shape… but maybe not wanting to reach out until the next Paralympics was over because you had been training so hard and it’s only a few months away and you really wanted the gold.
If a van filled with Olympic athletes ever crashed you know everybody who competes in the Paralympics would be shitting themselves. The one-armed volleyball players and the legally-blind archers. Each of them wrestling with their own demons as they wait to hear how bad it was and which events each of the victims competed in. I bet some of them actually wake up from that nightmare from time to time just before the Games but it’s so horrible they can never even mention it to anybody.
You have to wonder if the favorite in ‘Swimming – No Vision’ event heard that an Olympic swimming champion was just hit by a bus and, among many critical injuries, suffered complete blindness and was in the hospital and his life was hanging by a thread… whether or not the thought “Oh please die already” wouldn’t float through his head.
How could he live with himself? Perhaps he would then feel he had it coming to him if by some strange oversight (oversight… get it?) they forgot to pull the pool cover off before they started his event and 10 blind swimmers launched themselves onto it. Take a second to think about that and then tell me that it wouldn’t be the most-viewed Youtube clip ever.
Not to be self-absorbed but this might be a good time to share with you a strange dream I’ve been having for a couple years now. It started with this short little dream/nightmare about not being able to run. Just a quick glimpse of me wanting to run for some reason but not being able to. I just couldn’t put the movements together. Nothing to think twice about, which I didn’t, but very odd when I had the same dream a few weeks later. Each time I woke with the idea that as soon as I got up the next morning I would immediately throw on some shorts and spring up and down my street to ‘exercise’ this phantom disability.
But I always forgot.
You know how that is, life is busy and you never actually remember what it is you’re thinking about in the middle of the night. However important it might seem at 3 am by morning it disappears like so much fog.
But then I started having this dream regularly, each time more vivid and almost telling a larger story. Was I dreaming about some future self where I was too old to run? I didn’t think so because I always felt young. Whatever the case I sit here at this very moment realizing that I have actually not run since I started having this dream. I guess I should be happy that I lead a life where I’m never late and never chased but I still find it unbelievable that I haven’t run in so long.
I actually remembered the dream one day when I was at the park. I felt silly thinking I should run just to prove to myself I still could so I didn’t. After I got home I wished that I had just taken off and sprinted across the grass just to put these groundless fears to rest but obviously I didn’t feel strongly enough about it to actually go back outside and just take a quick jog up and down the driveway.
What was it I was scared about? It couldn’t be that I’ve forgotten how to run. Anybody with 2 working legs can run. The coordination required is minimal right? One legs in front of the other, just a bit quicker than a walk.
So this dream continues to haunt me. I forget how to run.
So why don’t I just get up right now and go outside and run up and down the block just to end it?
Maybe for the same reason I will endlessly reference Milton’s Paradise Lost but will never actually read it.
Maybe for the same reason that I put a t in front of reason by mistake every time I typed it in this blog. That’s a pretty strange typo to make more than once.
Maybe it’s because I wonder if Ragnhild Myklebust and I share any other dreams.