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Seven Ways to Survive Post-Olympic Withdrawal

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I don’t know about you, but the Olympics took over my life. After watching the men’s 1500-meter freestyle race, I realized that something was wrong with me—watching people swim fifteen laps in a pool is hardly entertainment. But every night, I lay in a coma-like state on my couch, trying to stay up late enough to watch men row a boat. Now, I’m tired and irritable from lack of sleep. I can’t even remember my life before the Olympics were on.

As I come out of my Olympic haze, all I can think is—what will I do now? How will I spend my time? What will be there to quench the need I have for comeback stories, beautiful music, and thrilling down-to-the-last-minute races?

Now that I won’t be glued to my television every night, I’m going to use my free time to plan my post-Olympic survival guide. I hope that it will help you, too.

7. Get Ready for Some Football … and Hockey and Basketball
Before the Olympics started, I was excited they were coming on because they would fill two weeks of the crushing void that is life without football. It’s finally back, with the first game on September fourth; hockey starts in early October and basketball starts in late October. Right now, it feels like I can’t live without synchronized diving, but I have before and I will again.

6. Start a Workout Program
After seeing all the beautiful, fit bodies, I have to admit that I was inspired to do something physical. On my bike rides, I pretended I was leading the pack on the way to the finish. I took the stairs more. I should use that energy and start sculpting my own Olympian physique. I’ve accepted that I’ll never have Dara’s abs, but in true Olympic spirit, I won’t let one silly obstacle hold me back from glory.

5. Immerse Yourself in the New Fall TV Lineup
Even though it doesn’t feel like it now, life will go on now that the games have ended, and there are some great new TV shows to fill the emptiness. I’m excited about Kath & Kim, Fringe, Do Not Disturb, and Hole in the Wall (which looks hilarious). For all you drama freaks, 90210 will be resurrected and Laurence Fishburne will be on CSI. Most shows will return with new episodes in early September.

4. Follow Up on Connections Made
I’ve talked about the Olympics with everyone I know—and some I don’t. I was on a tedious and stressful phone call with a customer service agent, but all was well once we bonded over the games. Take the initiative and start conversations with strangers or follow up on relationships forged at the water cooler. Keep the spirit alive!

3. Become a Youth Sports Mentor
It’s probably too late for you and I to win gold, but there are thousands of young athletes who may have what it takes. Many sports start in the fall and coaches for youth sports are always needed. Get out there and be a mentor to our young athletes. If you help just one kid on his path to the gold, he’ll probably let you wear it for a few minutes.

2. Follow the Drama
These Olympics did not let us down when it came to drama and much of it is still unresolved. Were China’s gymnasts too young? Who will be busted for doping? What will Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh name their babies? How will the world interact with China now? What will Michael Phelps do next—train to defend his eight medals? The games may end, but the fallout could go on for months.

1. Get Your Life Back Together
The dishes have piled up, the laundry basket is overflowing, and my dog hates me. I have neglected my personal relationships and bruised many with my grumpiness. It’s time for us to rejoin reality and jump back into life with enthusiasm. Why not tackle the spring-cleaning now? How about approaching work with renewed dedication? Live every moment with passion and the Olympic spirit will live on—in you.


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