Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Lessons from Bobsleigh

"on a fast downhill slide"
2 Peter 2:1

Yes, bobsleigh.  I know we here in the U.S. generally call it bobsled, but pretty much everywhere else in the world, it's called the bobsleigh.  And that's the name in the official Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing.  (There's supposed to be a few accent marks in there, but I don't know how to make my computer do that.  My apologies.)

My family had fun, in Salt Lake City, trying to remember to refer to the events as bobsleigh a deux or bobsleigh a quattre.  (There's supposed to be a few accent marks in there, too... I guess my computer doesn't speak French.)

I didn't see bobsleigh in Utah, but I did in Vancouver.  And it was one of the most enlightening sports to attend.  By that I mean, it's so much different seeing it in person, than on TV, and I never would have known that. 

To be honest, it might be better seeing it on TV.  After all, with a camera at every turn, you're seeing a pretty good shot of the whole race.  When you're at the event, there are video screens to look at until the bobsleigh comes into view, but it's kinda hard to look at them.  First of all, you're there, in person, so it's just not instinctive to be looking at a screen.  But also, you want to see it in person.  You feel a little like, "If I wanted to see it on a screen, I could have stayed home!"  So you find yourself looking at an empty track, not wanting to take your eyes off of it, waiting for the action to come to you. 

So here are my two lessons from bobsleigh. 

First of all, I was very surprised by two things:  how loud the bobsleighs are, thundering past you on the track, and how incredibly fast they are going.  Somewhere around 80, 85 mph.  I mean, they just fly by.  I don't know how many times we said that to each other, "Man, I just can't believe how fast they're going!"

It's a reminder to me that we simply cannot understand some things, until we experience them.  You watch something from afar, like someone's life, or their decisions, and you think you understand all there is to understand.  But you don't.  Their life is louder or faster than you can tell from where you are standing.  And they're doing the best they can.  Judge not.

Lesson #2 is about teamwork.  Cooperation.  Partnership.  And I learned that in the picture-taking.  The sleighs are going so fast, that we got several pictures of empty track...

like this...
... and this...

... and this.

before finally getting a picture with a bobsleigh in it.

like this...

... and this...
... and this.

And the way we finally achieved that, my sister and I, is by working together.  She held the camera at the ready, looking forward, finger on the button.  I looked off to the left, to where the sleighs were coming from.  And as soon as I saw it come into view, I would say, "Now!"  Through trial and error, we finally figured out exactly when I needed to speak up, in order for her to get the picture. 

And why was that?  Because the bobsleighs are going by faster than you can believe!

It was her camera, but she was able to share some great pictures with me, because I helped her take them.  Do unto others, and they will do unto you. 

See?  There's always something new to learn.  

~ "That all may learn and be encouraged" ~
1 Corinthians 14:31

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