On Blogging and the Olympics

So here it is the final day of my blogging every day of July effort and I have succeeded!1 And it was fun. So much fun that I’m going to keep on blogging. Not every day but at least once a week. Turns out I missed it way more than I realised. Missed you commenter types both here and on twitter. I think we had some really cool and interesting conversations over this month and I hope we’ll have many more. *hugs blog* *hugs commenters* *cries*

I didn’t do all the posts I promised I would. I know. I am badness. But I will do them. In the future. In the not-too-distant future even. If you ask me to opine on something here or on twitter eventually I will do so.

I did not, in fact, use voice recognition software. I tried and gave up in anger and frustration. But I will do the post I promised @SirTessa in which I use that dread software without correcting any of the mistakes.

However, not using it was really positive because I also finished the first draft of a novel this month2 and thus between that and blogging every day was typing more than I had for ages and doing so in a managed way. Some days, yes, I was very sore. But I never pushed through and typed more than twenty minutes at a time. And the frequent breaks—including at least two days off per week—and stretching and strength work and treatment kept the pain manageable. Turns out I can write more than I think I can. To which, well, YAY + DANCE OF JOY.

And my reward for finishing the first draft of a new novel and blogging every day?


So far I have watched, in no particular order:

  • shooting—for the first time and it was way more interesting than I thought it would be
  • hockey—the Aussie men are RIDICULOUSLY good what a pleasure they are to watch
  • basketball—the US women ditto. I mean, they could field an entirely different team from the WNBA and they’d still win gold. Hell, they could go all the way down to, like, the fourth, fifth, and sixth team options and they’d still medal. Depth? Oh, yes, my second nation has it. Total pleasure to watch them play. Especially Seimone Augustus. Oh, how I love her. And yes I adore the Opals and I want them to win but without Penny Taylor? I mean, even with Penny Taylor it was a long long long long shot.
  • badminton—shuttlecocks are freaking awesome, I love how they are at once faster and slower than a tennis ball. I also love that serving has no impact on the game
  • weightlifting—has to be the most stressful sport of all. I am always afraid their eyeballs are going to pop out of their skulls, that muscles will rip from bone, that their heads will explode. I love the slapping and screaming and other weird stuff they do to psych themselves up and how cool is it when they manage to keep that insanely heavy bar above their head and their feet in line and not moving? Very. And some of them are lifting three times their own weight. Let me repeat: THREE TIMES THEIR OWN WEIGHT!
  • gymnastics—you know, every other sport I kind of feel like I can do a much crappier version of it. I could shoot and play hockey. I have played basketball and tennis and table tennis. I’ve lifted weights. I’ve been training at boxing for almost a year now. I have dived into pools. I’ve swum, run, rowed, canoed and jumped. These are all possible things. Admittedly everyone at the Olympics is doing them a gazillion times better than me. But the gymnastics? I cannot do any of those things. Not a one.3 Gymnasts fill me with awe.
  • table tennis—watching high level table tennis is for me like watching high level snooker. I have played this game in friends’ basements, backyards and the pub. The game I play has nothing in common what I see before me on the television machine. Wow.
  • diving—ditto. With even more wow.
  • beach volley ball—anyone who says this is not a real sport deserves a smack. Yes, they’re wearing bikinis so do many of the track and field athletes and no one’s dissing the 100 metre sprint.
  • boxing—I know. I know. It’s brutal and evil and violent and gives people all sorts of horrible brain damage and only barbarians could possibly like it. But, well, colour me barbarian. I’ve always liked boxing but learning how to do it has increased my appreciation and respect for its practitioners a hundred fold. It is so hard and so technical and so much more cerebral than I realised. Can’t wait to catch some of the women’s matches because I’ve never seen one before.
  • canoe slalom—This is CRAZY. I love it.
  • rowing–I have rowed. It is really hard. These athletes are incredible.
  • swimming—I swam with a swimming squad for quite a few years. Getting up at 5AM to train, having the coach go over the finer details of all the strokes with me.4 Doing endless laps with kickboards etc etc. Thus my empathy for what the swimmers put themselves through is very, very, very large indeed. And watching technically perfect swimmers gives me large amounts of joy. Plus underwater cameras? I love you.

The time difference between Sydney and London is kind of perfect. Live coverage starts at 5:30pm in Sydney and the last events are winding up at 9am the next day. So I can watch until I go to bed and then wake up around 7am in time to watch a live game of basketball. Then I can go about my normal day of gym, boxing, writing etc. I admit it, this particular sports lover is in heaven. I kind of wish the Olympics was on every single day of the year.

  1. Weekends do not count. No one is online on Saturdays and Sundays. Scientific fact. []
  2. *bounce* *bounce* *bounce* []
  3. Well, okay, I can do some of the goofy dance moves in the floor routines but other than that? Nope. []
  4. Why does that always sounds so rude? []


  1. wandering-dreamer on #

    Wohoo, so happy to hear you’ll be blogging again! I hadn’t even realized how much I had missed your posts and I’ll be glad to have them back (and can’t wait to see the voice recognition software one, that sounds like it’ll be both cringe inducing and amusing).

  2. lalibrarylady86 on #

    Just thrilled to hear you are able to write more than you thought. Keep those breaks and stay limber, but that is the best news I’ve had all day. Thanks.

  3. Jessica on #

    I’m pretty behind on this month-long project since my Google reader is out of control, but I just wanted to say, that I really missed your blog while you were gone (while understanding why you had to go! Health comes first, always!) and I’m really happy to hear that you’ll continue to post. You are so smart and clever and GOOD andandand!

  4. Justine on #

    wandering-dreamer, lalibrarylady86 and Jessica: Awww. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. All your comments are why I do this. Bless!

    Well, okay, that plus I have SO MANY OPINIONS that I have to explode out of me somewhere!

  5. Aine on #

    Glad to read that you’re able to type more now- that’s brilliant news and I’m thrilled there’s more blogging to come (my blog reader decided to spend two weeks updating so I missed this whole “blog for July” thing but I’ll go find what I missed).

    I agree on the beach volleyball- I feel like the costumes and the silly dancers beforehand kind of makes it hard for them to demand respect as athletes, but I’ve played it and know how hard it is to run around on sand and play a sport at the same time.

  6. Eileen Lower on #

    I love your blog: your voice is very intriguing and can make me interested in subjects I previously couldn’t care less about. I’m so glad you’ll be doing it regularly! And to the beach volleyball dissers: show me anyone who can run that fast on loose sand without training extensively. Its just not possible.
    My favorite Olympic sports are the gymnastics and ones involving water, especially the synchronized ones. How the athletes are able to preform maneuvers I could never dream of doing in harmony amazes me.

  7. Justine on #

    Aine and Eileen Lower: Thank you!

    I think the beach volleyball dissing come from those silly purists who have a very narrow idea of what constitutes sport. Whereas smart people like us know that there’s not a single sport in the Olympics that doesn’t take an extraordinary amount of talent and training and exertion.

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