The presents have been unwrapped, the new year celebrated, and the holiday treats devoured. Now what? For many folks, the post-holiday season appears bleak, with only frigid weather and sunless days stretching out over the weeks ahead. But for some, the fun has only begun. If you’re an avid skier, snowboarder, or snowmobiler, you’ve just started enjoying the season and delighting in fresh white blankets of snow. Perhaps you’ve even pulled out your snowshoes or the old Sno Bronco.
The late Thomas Kinkade said of his 2003 rendering The Old Fishing Hole, "Perhaps the best thing about childhood is what we make of it in our memories. I suppose that in the living there were good times and bad, but in the memory, it's the good times that live on with a certain radiance.”
As the Olympic Games conclude, I can’t help but remember my years as a star athlete . . . just kidding. People who condition their bodies and minds for extreme competition will forever surpass my skill and understanding. However, I appreciate their urge to better themselves through feats of athleticism. And I, like many of my fellow non-Olympians, strive for personal improvement in my own way.
The opening of NFL training camp put me in mind of an encounter in a different field. On a routine doctor visit, I was answering the usual questions. “Do you smoke?” the doctor asked. I said, “no.” “Never did?” she persisted. “Nope,” I replied. “And never will?” she asked meaningfully, leaning forward. A little weary of the interrogation I said, “well, Doc, I’ve been trying to start, but I’m having no success.” Not a smile; not even a twitch.