2.12.2010

The Spirit of the the Thing

Whether its carrying a flame out of the history of Ancient Greece to criss and cross a Continent or lacing the skates on a 3 year old for their first time on the ice, or casting on the first stitch of a knitting project, these things are acts of belief in the future, in the inherent cumulative potential in small steps and all of them are hopefully done mindful of just how wonderful each step can be - whatever the ultimate goal.

How much like a sweater does the first cast on stitch appear? To the untrained eye there's no hint of the connection between the two. We twist a bit of spun fluff around a needle. It looks insignificant and meaningless. But as knitters we believe if we persist with it, make many, many more simple twists we will produce something.

That's the thing I'm going to try to keep in mind during my Knitting Olympics. To feel accomplished in  understanding that potential in casting on rather than only in what I accomplish in these next two weeks. The spirit of the thing and the fun and enjoyment of the process are just as important!

Its like the Spirit of the Olympics themselves. By the end of the games there are just a handful of "winners" The vast majority of athletes go home without a medal. But our collective view of the Olympics - especially the spirit of the games is that we see all the athletes as winners. We recognize that just becoming an Olympian is a significant accomplishment and the parading of athletes in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies is clear testament to that.

In Calgary at the 1988 Winter Games, Elizabeth Manley overcame a career of challenges to skate the performance of her life  after working with a sports psychologist on skating for the joy of it rather than towards a goal.  When she came from behind to take the Silver she won the hearts of Canadians because she showed us success borne of the love of the thing not from the hunger for a prize. If you click on the link and watch her perform and then see her face at the end she is full of surprise and wonder at what she had just done. 

That's how I want to feel after the next couple of weeks of small knitting steps. I want to be thrilled that I did my best and I had a good time while I did it. Elizabeth ended up with a Silver Medal. I hope I end up with a sweater that I love (and that fits!) but I want the real joy of it to be in the doing not just in having it done!

If you're casting on an Olympic project tonight, I hope the same for you! Whether you are going to be an Olympic Knitter or not, I hope you have a great weekend and personally, I hope Wayne Gretzky carries the flame into the stadium tonight!

Thanks for dropping by today!

4 comments:

Laine de Bergère said...

Hoot Hoot! good luck with your challenge. A. xx

Laurie said...

Awesome post! That's just what I needed to hear! Thank you.

Stephanie said...

You should've written an Opening Ceremonies speech. :) This is very inspiring! I'm not a sports fan so I am not doing an Olympic project, but I'll be rooting you on!

P.S. You won Lunsh.net's giveaway! Becky should have e-mailed you, but if you can't find it could you get in touch with me with your address so Becky can send you the journal? My e-mail is crowned.girl@gmail.com and I promise we won't sell/rent your address etc. I might send you a postcard though!

Acorn to Oak said...

Such a beautifully written post! It was so late last night when the flame was finally lit that I didn't start my Olympic project. I better get to it! It's so much fun to join in this giant knitting event and know that we're knitting along with so many others.