Deirdre Reilly: I think I’m ready to compete in the Olympics

Deirdre Reilly

Thanks to Dara Torres, the 41-year-old wife, mom and Olympic swimmer who just helped her team capture a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay, I think I may have a shot at the next Olympics. I just have to work out a little, eat a more sensible diet and try to develop a more “Olympic” attitude. (Note to self: Call doctor and see if it is possible to explode if you combine hot flashes with Olympic sports.) Maybe this is what I am here on earth for – to participate in the Olympics! I might be a Cinderella story waiting to happen, a champion muffled by suburbia!

First, I need to pick a sport. I’ll leave the swimming to Dara, so I’ve thought of some other possible sports I could do. I’d like a sport where I wouldn’t have to put down my purse; curling, maybe. Also, a sport where my hair doesn’t move too much – so nothing with a hat or a helmet. Again, I came up with curling. I do know how to horseback-ride, so maybe Olympic steeplechase? I’d have to rent a horse and get bonded with him before our race, or match or whatever you call it in steeplechase. I could do track and field, maybe, but I really don’t want to sweat. I am therefore going to go with curling (also known as “chess on ice”). This choice means I will compete in the Winter Olympics in 2010.

Firstly, I should get into Olympic shape. I have been doing sit-ups during “America’s Got Talent” and I walk the dog a lot, but I should start real training, so I will plan to hit the gym. And hire a personal trainer, maybe, but I would feel a little awkward confessing my Olympic dreams, considering I would have to Mapquest the gym I belong to, it’s been so long. So for now the dog and I are just going to kick it up a notch – we are going to make a great “come from nowhere” Olympic biography (I hope Morgan Freeman can narrate it for me). I can just hear Bob Costa now, as he takes his turn at describing me: “And in an amazing story of grit and steely determination, wife and mother Deirdre Reilly has prepared for these games using only her hound dog Copper, pictured here.” (They would show a picture of Copper, my part hound, part beagle.) “If ever there was a story as American as America itself, it would have to be this woman and her dog, training together for the Olympic curling team. Also amazing, Deirdre persevered through doubt and confusion – her husband’s, that is. Look at her today, America – purse swinging, hair perfect, gaze steady as she manages what she affectionately calls ‘the broom thingy.’ A great American story!”

What I am ready for is my triumphant entrance during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, which I will attend with my entire curling team. (I will inspire them with both my wisdom and my reality TV knowledge.) My formerly doubting husband and three sons will be crammed into a hotel room in Munich or Aspen or Geneva, trying to find ESPN International on TV. My teammates and I will wave and point and chat with each other as we proceed around the concourse in matching sweat suits that were designed by Target, if I have my way. President Question Mark will wave at me especially, knowing what it has taken for me to get my 40-something body into curling shape. (Not that much, actually – have you ever watched curling?) I will wave my broom thingy triumphantly at the crowds and inspire legions of pre-menopausal women around the globe to put down the wine glass and the chocolate and “Just Do It!” (Good Nike tie-in; possible endorsement deal? A sneaker called the Hot Flash?)

So look for me as a part of the American Olympic curling squad in 2010. I will be easy to spot – the only teammate with the purse and the hound dog!

You can connect with Deirdre at www.exhaustedrapunzel.com.