Gosh. This Olympics thing really is all about strength, stamina and a dash of intestinal fortitude isn't it. Really, how can it not put a smile on your face to see such fantastic athletes doing what they do best. You may be surprised as well at how many people down here in Australia are standing up and cheering on Team GB in this regard. Not that they'd ever tell you that. Believe me though, after all the chest beating down here at the lack of gold, everyone has decided to get over themselves and settled down to enjoy the Olympics. Look at Team GB go.
There was that initial panic here, when for a minute the media went a little bit mad and whipped people into a finger-pointing frenzy. Then the collective breath was let out, and everyone's just gotten on with enjoying the spectacle. The media here seems to have hastily changed its tune, and are enthusiastically cheering on Team GB, but also all nations, and a lot of water cooler talk has been about Mo Farah, Chris Hoy, the rowing, the great weather, you name it. Of course Usain Bolt has been right up there as well with the Kenyans and others in the popularity stakes. Not even in hushed tones either, but just a real appreciation for incredible feats we've all witnessed.
The Brits have outshone everyone's expectations. No longer are you bringing out just Best-of-British, but best in class. I'm being honest here when I say that nobody around the traps down here in Melbourne actually begrudges the Brits one bit. It's incredible and nobody can argue that it won't be the stuff of stories and legend; "Remember when we held the Olympics, and it was great, and we won, and Boris got caught on a zip-line?" I doubt you'll ever be able to play beach volleyball at Horseguards Parade again, swim in the Serpentine, or run so openly through the city without doing the bus-dodging dance.
So the epic marathon of Olympics-watching continues down under. Olympic viewing from this end of the globe, is upside down Not literally I mean. I'm not hanging feet first from the rafters. Although, to be fair, I think Super Saturday would have seen me doing just that, such was the excitement in our household. And if I had rafters. However, Olympic watching from our time zone down under requires that special combination of strength, stamina, talent and that extra little bit of recklessness to just go for gold.
I have the routine down pat by now. I watch the morning sessions, until the point where things look to be falling into place, and people seem to be starting to win medals. Then I go to bed, for a few hours kip until the evening sessions start and the big medals come out to play. After these are done and I've gotten all excited, a little teary, and all sing-ed out, I have a strong cup of tea, a hot shower and get dressed. Then I go to work all day. This working goes on for an eight hour period of time, during which I think about the next morning session, when the cycle starts again. I think I can probably sustain this for about another few days, before physical exhaustion and emotional breakdown finally get the better of me. You need to be mentally tough to do this. I've been training for quite some time, practicing my couch sitting technique in front of the Tour de France, and learning the best tea imbibing techniques for optimal watching performance. Because it's all about strategy, and how often you break, and how much caffeine you drink in order to hit your peak just at the right moment. I'll admit Super Saturday helped a lot. And cake. Cake helps a lot too.
Daytime is a struggle, but that's where the mental toughness comes in to push through the pain barrier. Us super armchair athletes are good at the mental toughness bit. It's what we've been training for. After all, we all hit that 4am trough too when bed sounds appealing, and then Usain Bolt appears on the telly, and you remember why you're doing this. Things start to look up again, and you see him doing the pointy finger thing, and it resonates in that deep inner place reserved for only the super talented athletes like us. You smile at Usain through the telly and say to yourself "Yeah man. I know where you comin from."
Follow Jacqui Evans on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jacquievans24