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The 2016 Rio Olympics......and the Katieledecky salutation!

AUGUST, 2016

We've been enjoying the 2016 Summer Olympics. As these amazing athletes push themselves to their ultimate limits, I eat cookies as I watch. I frequently brush crumbs off my face to cheer them on.

I got to thinking...where could we go in our fabulous Midtown Omaha neighborhood to partake in some of these events? I don’t mean play on the Olympic level, but just dabble a little in a sport we’ve not tried?

I’ve never thrown a shot put. I’d love to try. I have the upper body strength of a newborn bunny (with a bad cough). But I’d sure like to know what that shot put feels like in my hands. Perhaps cookie crumbs would aid my grip.

I Googled places for adults to participate in track and field events in Omaha and got a big goose egg. There were lots of places for kids and teens, and lots of running clubs for adults, but no shot put and such. Where can a middle-aged woman in Omaha go to get a pole vaulting lesson?

Beach Volleyball: Wow. America's Kerri Walsh-Jennings and April Ross are electric. Wanna play some beach volleyball close to home? Leavenworth Park (just a mere .7 miles down the street) has a beach volleyball court. Okay, it’s not Olympic regulation, but no biggie. What it lacks in regulation, it would make up for in fun. I would suggest wearing more than a skimpy bikini lest you create a traffic jam on Turner Blvd.

Michael Phelps - Swimming the Butterfly.

Gymnastics: America's Simon Biles rules! Not only is she an amazing, gold medal athlete, but she can pull off glittery eyeliner. Are there any local, beginning, tumbling classes for people age 40 +? Even though it doesn't sound wise, YES. Several gymnastics clubs offer classes for adults. The closest one to our fabulous building is Sokol South Omaha at 2021 U St. (4.6 miles) Don’t wanna drive that far? You can pick up a tumble mat at Amazon.com for $59.99 and here’s a YouTube video to get you started:

I'm her to help! Have your health insurance card at the ready before you start.

Sprinting: Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the most decorated sprinter of all time has wowed the world with his amazing speed. Want to do your own slower version (perhaps more of a flickering bulb than a bolt) at a local track? I searched the web and it appears that any junior high or gym track will let you on the track as long as you aren't interrupting a gym class or sporting event. Call first to make sure of the times the public is allowed. The closest track to our building here at The Condos at 3000 Farnam is a speedy 1.6 miles away at Central High.

"Katieledecky. I’m starting a movement right here and now, to incorporate the word "Katieledecky" as a good luck salutation."

Rowing: Great Britain is leading in rowing. My only kinda-sorta frame of reference is tubing down the Niobrara River which required zero arm engagement and I dozed off twice. The Omaha Rowing Association offers a 3-hour clinic on how to row at Carter Lake (4.7 miles away). You can find out more information about it here: http://www.omaharowing.org/Omaha_Rowing_Association/Welcome.html

Swimming: America's Michael Phelps rocks. I've long suspected he has webbed toes, but that's only a theory, not a fact...at least not one I can prove. You'll note the cameras never zoom in on his toes. We have several fitness clubs close by that have pools (Pinnacle Club, 20th and Dodge, and the downtown YMCA at 430 S. 20th Street) but if you just wanna take a dip in the summertime without purchasing a membership, Elmwood Park public pool is just 2.8 miles away. The closest indoor public pool is Mockingbird public pool at 10242 Mockingbird Drive. That's a bit far and requires passing 72nd Street (Egad! I need to pack snacks and get the oil checked in the car).

Katieledecky: I’m also a big Katie Ledecky fan. She's amazing in the pool, and I love how her name has a happy sing-songiness about it. Katie Ledecky, Katie Ledecky, Katie Ledecky! When you merge it into one word, it sounds like a happy salutation: Katieledecky. I’m starting a movement right here and now, to incorporate the word "Katieledecky" as a good luck salutation.

You: I’m leaving for a fabulous trip to Paris tomorrow.
Me: That’s wonderful! Katieledecky!

Training food for watching the Olympics

Water Polo: The U.S. women will now look to defend their gold on Friday against Italy. I couldn't find anywhere in Omaha that offers water polo which now makes me want to try it all the more. For starters, their little caps make an unparalleled fashion statement.

We're fortunate to live in the heart of Omaha, where we can dip our toes into Olympic dreams without having to venture too far from home. And of course, after you've succeeded in your own personal Olympic adventure, you'll be deserving of a medal! You may have to forego the glamorous celebration but here's a link so you can make your very own gold medal: http://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/diy-olympic-gold-medals-craft/.

Until next time, Katieledecky!