faith & family fridays: olympics charm – a man and a woman

After watching a little bit of the Olympics with my family last night, I decided I needed to get my own body moving and go work out. My gym bag was all packed so off I went into the night, knowing I’d be missing something really cool but realizing too that I can’t put my life completely on hold during these great days of the winter Olympics.

I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore, but the Olympics is one of the rare exceptions. It’s one time I find it hard to not stay glued to the tube. But I was determined to stay the course and get my exercising done.

I walked into the Y with that mission in mind. I checked in and started off in the direction of the locker rooms. But then I caught a flash of something. I looked up and saw the flat-screen television attached to the wall in the lobby. Japan’s Narumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kihara were performing for the figure skating team pairs’ short program.

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I froze, mesmerized by the sight of the duo gliding along the ice together. I plopped down in a chair a few inches away, knowing I’d just surrendered.

There is something so beautiful about a man and a woman flying across the ice; the strength of his masculinity serving as her rock, her foothold, and the fluidity of her femininity in beautiful contrast, dancing around his solidity.

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It’s something I’ve admired since I was a little girl. The ice-skating itself is incredible to witness; to think they are out there in shoes with just a thin blade to hold them up and transport them from one end of the ice to the other. But then on top of that, they are somehow able to create these beautiful movements together. They’re like a living and breathing masterpiece on ice.

In those younger, little-girl years, I loved finding out the skating couple was a couple in real life. When this wasn’t the case, I grew quickly disappointed. I wanted so much for all the skating pairs to really be in love, not just to be pretending but to be as devoted to one another off the ice as on. I suppose it was a little like a fairytale, and who doesn’t want a happy ending?

These were the innocent feelings of a child, but it was coming from the gut level and felt very real to me then, and it still does to this day. And I think it has to do with this: male and female God created them. It’s basic and it’s beautiful. And when we see it, we have a deep-down-in-the-soul reaction to it.

I would even call it sacred. To me, these team skaters exemplify the creative complementarity of God’s vision for life when it is flourishing.

I also love that team skating is a demonstration of two bodies working together, closely and in harmony, and not in a way that is obscene. This is becoming more rare every day. We’re more accustomed to bodies of women and men being portrayed not in a sacred way but a way that is twisted from God’s plan. So a tasteful, classy representation stands out as extraordinarily lovely, and cause, apparently, for abandoning an exercise plan for just a few minutes longer.

Don’t get me wrong. I know this is plain hard work for these couples who have put in the time, day in and day out, and probably had more than their fair share of disagreements, injuries, and other real-life drama. But they also offer us hope that it is possible to find a way to glide along together in harmony, even though a few bumps and bruises will be inevitable, and remind me that man and woman are truly breathtaking when working in harmony.

For this, I will let the television god have my attention for just a little while every couple years.

I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Q4U: What’s your favorite Olympics event? Why?