It took no more than an hour for our family to become disenchanted with the Olympics coverage last night.
Despite your initial ambivalence, you discover that you’re quite interested in the women's road race. You feel your own lungs grow cold as that brave solitary Russian rider strikes out on her own up that improbably steep hill in the pouring rain.
She has a minute on the Peloton! They might be reeling her back in! Or they might not! The road is treacherous; they may hit the deck if their spinning wheels catch the paint as they descend at speed on the wet greasy surface. Will she hold on out in front and seize the gold?
Who knows? We’re crossing to the soccer.
I picked up my book. Karren flicked over to RabbitProof Fence on Maori TV, checking back in at the commercial breaks. Nada. An hour or so on, I fetched the laptop. Four streaming TVNZ channels and none of them offering the cycling. I tried NBC and BBC with my anonymiser, but no video for me.
Thanks to the relatively low-tech medium of words on an LCD page, we were at least able to learn the outcome, if not watch it. We empathised with the plucky little Russian who had evidently been reeled back in.
But what’s this on Triangle TV? Miles of Olympics coverage, with no commercial breaks, no sponsors and athletes looking remarkably unaffected; guileless even. And look! The black singlet is moving forward! He’s at the lead! He’s racing away from them! Gold in the 1500 metres! They hoist the New Zealand ensign to the tune of God Save the King, and look, in the stands! Spectators' arms outstretched. Heil Hitler!
That was then, this is now. Should an inexplicable Olympics programming decision arouse your ire, don't let your spirit curdle. The games are for the fostering of peace and love. They also present a physical training opportunity.
What better or more appropriate time to hone your martial arts skills?
Look at this.
That’s Bruce Lee doing the One Inch Punch.
The One inch punch is a skill which uses fa jing (translated as explosive power) to generate tremendous amounts of impact force at extremely close distances.
You stand with your fist very close to your target, say up to six inches or so. Then in one explosive burst, your legs root, your waist turns, your ribs expand and your arm extends through the target. Your entire body has to move in unison. That’s crucial. If it doesn't, there will be no power.
It is all an elegant piece of Yin to the Yang of the supine marathon you embark upon when you join this Olympic extravaganza.
Your waist expands.
You’re stuck where you are, because your legs are rooted.
If you could extend your arm, you’d toss the remote at the set, but you can’t.
The TV and the Olympics people are taking you for a sap.
There is no power.