Laughing Through the Tears

It’s only the second week of January and already my beloved football season is a bust. As I mentioned last week, the University of Alabama lost the Sugar Bowl on January 1st. Naturally I was upset (I bleed crimson, after all), but I did my best to stay strong and solider on. College football might be kaput, but at least I could still root for my favorite professional team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, right? WRONG! Just two short days later, the Steelers lost their first game, shattering all my hopes and dreams. Since football in 2015 was clearly going to be nothing but a source of heartache and despair, I decided it was time for a change. This year, I’m saying goodbye to football, and hello to gymnastics.

I know what you’re thinking. Gymnastics? How could gymnastics-a sport that involves flipping around on uneven bars, dancing in circles, and flying through the air, all while wearing spandex-possibly take football’s place? What on earth could these two sports have in common?

As it turns out, a lot. They both require hours of training every single day. They both demand strength and stamina. And, thanks to the newly designed, diamond-encrusted uniforms debuted at the Sugar Bowl last week, they both appreciate a little bling. The main reason I’m embracing gymnastics, though, is Paul Hunt.

Matchmaker Mary GymnasticsIn case you haven’t seen his YouTube videos, Paul Hunt is a very talented gymnast who won numerous awards in the 70s. These days, however, he’s most famous for being a self-proclaimed “gymnastics clown.” Yes, you read that right. People everywhere love to watch Hunt dress up like a woman, complete with pink skirt and thick, manly mustache, and perform his hysterical gymnastics routines on the uneven bars.

While it’s pretty funny to watch Hunt spin, twirl, and flip, there’s a lesson to be found in his silly performances. Gymnastics, like football, is a sport that people take very seriously (trust me, I know). There’s a lot of pressure to be perfect, whether that means landing a back flip or scoring a touchdown, and sometimes that pressure can make us forget what we love about sports in the first place. While there’s nothing funny about my two favorite football teams losing, watching Paul Hunt’s antics is a good reminder that having fun is important, too.

Sure, I’d rather be a winner. I’m only human, after all. But if I have to lose, I might as well do it with a smile and a laugh. And who knows? Maybe one day they’ll start giving out medals to people with a good sense of humor, and the gold will finally be mine….

Happy Monday,