Monday, July 7, 2008

Mommy Crush #176

Forty-one-year-old mother qualifies for her fifth Olympics and, in the process, breaks the U.S. record in the 50-meter freestyle? Yes, please.

Though this is reason enough to cheer swimmer Dara Torres on next month, if you haven't already read the New York Times magazine profile of her, you must, at the very least, check out the photo of her in a bikini. ("A Swimmer of a Certain Age," in the June 29, 2008 issue) She's got a bod like no mom I've ever seen (and I've seen some tight Portland moms rollerblading, biking, and running their way through town).

I was so impressed that I showed the photo to my husband, who simply said, "Wow." SB asked to see it, too, and, looking concerned, asked, "What's wrong with her tummy? Why does it look like that?" Of course, she's never seen a six-pack before. (Neither have I on my body. Ever.)

Turns out, Torres drops something like $100K on a staff of folks (including a nanny) who help her make her body what it is: a lean, mean, racing machine. This staff includes two "stretchers" who watch for tensions and asymmetries in her body as she's training and then "mash"--contort, flex, massage, and stretch--her muscles a couple of hours a day, three times a week. The result is a body that earns admiring comments like, "Look at the way her scapula is traveling!" (If anyone complimented my scapula, I'd be set up with enough self-esteem to last for days.)

With cyclists being kicked out of the Tour and baseball player testifying before congressional committees, all eyes have been on Torres because she's been too good for too long. But she volunteered for a pilot program to test broadly for signs of doping because she's got nothing to hide. Girl's not on drugs: she's got bank.

Sure, I might not spend any extra cash I have trying to get another couple of medals for my trophy room, and don't ask me to speculate about her home life. But, after battling bulimia during college, landing this side of two divorces, and struggling with years of infertility, Torres now seems to have accepted exactly who she is: an extremely competitive person who's not letting age or gender get in the way of winning. It's hard not to admire that.


melissa s. said...

i think if anyone said anything about my scapula, i'd have to run to a dictionary.

see ya tonight!

disa said...
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