Was it worth it?

Let me start by saying I am a figure skating fanatic, so when the winter Olympics come every four years, it’s like the mother ship has come home to me.

At any rate, the pairs figure skating segment ended last night with a win by an amazing married Chinese pair, Xue Shen & Hungbao Zhao. If you are a fan of figure skating, you’ll remember that this pair was not very good when they starting competing internationally in the 1990’s. They had good jumps, but everything else lacked, especially thier emotional connection.

But their coach, Bin Yao, who was even worse when skating pairs in his international events in the early ’80’s, was determined to pioneer a top-notch skating program in China. So he has spent the last twenty years doing just that, working with teams like Shen & Zhao to develop and turn them into the beautiful skaters they are.

Last night NBC aired a piece about Yao, with a backstory I didn’t know. The coach has been separated from his wife and family – living at the Chinese training facility, as is often done in communist countries – for twenty years. He was not at his son’s birth and has missed almost his entire growing up. Yao fought back tears as he talked about it. With more Chinese skaters in the wings to succeed, it doesn’t look like he’ll be done coaching anytime soon.

I’m sure NBC’s intention was to get us to think, “Wow, is that guy committed! The Olympic spirit is amazing!” I shook my head in sorrow.

I was just wondering if, at the end of his life, he’ll be able to say it was worth it. I hope so.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natasha
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 17:52:33

    This makes me think of a fairly famous writer (at least one of her books was an Oprah pick) who lived near me in MA. She had been interviewed by the local librarian, I think, when her first novel came out, and she said that she had told her kids they could each pick ONE event during the school year that she would attend — one soccer game, one play, one bake sale — and that was all the time she would be able to devote to their activities.

    I thought it was the saddest thing at the time and really felt sorry for her kids.

    I went to every game, every play, I could — I even pitched a tent in a freaking SNOWBANK and slept in it when the cub scouts went winter camping, and I’d do it all again, gladly (except for the winter camping) even if it means Oprah will never ever pick me for anything except, possibly, a makeover…..


    • kathanink
      Feb 16, 2010 @ 18:22:16

      Wow, so sad!! I am glad my parents attending most everything I did for the most part (i.e., I was on poms, they didn’t go to EVERY game, but they were at some and my important competitions).

      My parents caring about what I was involved made me feel like they cared about me. Having lost my dad, I can’t feeling like he didn’t care about me at all.


  2. darksculptures
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 15:25:03

    Speaking from someone who was in a position of putting her job ahead of her family – I can say that for me – it was NOT worth it. I’ve been trying to rebuild my relationship with my children for the past 4 years and it is very difficult.


    • kathanink
      Feb 16, 2010 @ 15:59:44

      I’m sorry that you’ve gone through that…and yet I am glad have realized it and are working to make things right with them. How painful! 😦


    • dayner
      Feb 16, 2010 @ 19:28:05

      The fact that you have realized your mistake and are trying to correct it should help with getting forgiveness. Your daughter is older and so it will be harder for her but I think maybe your son has almost forgotten…at least I hope.


      • darksculptures
        Feb 17, 2010 @ 09:25:10

        They understand why I had to work so much. Single mom stuff. They also understand the choice was stay at home with them and get the *** beat out of me by an abusive husband. Or make a stand and put him in jail. Eight years served on a first degree for aggrevated battery with intent after he put me in the hosptial for a week. The choice had came down to life or death. Eventually he would have killed me.

        So, I’m not saying I neglected my children in any way. I’m just saying we were not as close then as we could have been should I have been there for every softball game, play, and boyscout meeting. (Which is how it should be if you ask me – moms should be with their kids.)

        I think our relationship has grown to be stronger than most, because they are old enough to understand what I went through and the strength it took for me to make the choices I did. It was hard work to draw close to each other on a certain level, because we did miss out on some important stuff. But we are almost there.

        But enough about me. I don’t know why 12 years later I still feel the need to justify myself. I guess some scars never fade.


        • kathanink
          Feb 17, 2010 @ 14:45:56

          Wow, thanks for your honesty, DS. 😦 Your post made me well up with tears that you had to endure this.

          I have a friend who lived through very much the same thing. She ended up homeless for a time and it was very difficult, but it’s amazing to see the things that have been wrought in her life as a result of that experience, as painful as it was.

          I think even as your children grow up, when they are adults, they will more fully appreciate the decisions you made…and they were clearly the best thing for you and for them.


        • Natasha
          Feb 17, 2010 @ 17:03:54

          I think kids ultimately know and understand what it is parents do for them — it may not be until adulthood that they/we truly appreciate it. I’m still learning about my parents, and they’ve both been dead for decades.

          My son has developed an appreciation and understanding of choices and decisions I made in a less volatile situation than DS’s, but volatile nonetheless. It takes time, though, to develop that understanding.

          I DEFINITELY think you are right about the strength of relationship that comes from surviving difficult circumstances together.

          And DS — please don’t be so hard on yourself.


  3. dayner
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 13:46:34

    I hope so too, but I doubt it. His son would have to have a very generous and forgiving spirit to not hold a grudge against his father for being last on his list of priorities. I wouldn’t forgive so easily.


    • kathanink
      Feb 16, 2010 @ 14:30:13

      I know, I thought about how I would feel if I were his son…”was it more important to raise these other children, while forsaking me?”

      That being said, I understand that China has a totally different culture than ours. But it’s very sad to me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


post categories

HighCallingBlogs.com Christian Blog Network
© Kathan Ink 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathan Ink, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
%d bloggers like this: