Feb 112014

I’m obsessive about saving files. Every person my age who used computers in the early days knows the horror of watching a computer eat your paper up (putting a new spin on the old, “but Sir, the dog ate my essay”). Today, that sort of thing happens so rarely that people get complacent. With all software having automatic backups and new software and cloud computing more and more saving instantly not just at time intervals, people forget. I occasionally pipe up and tell my brain biofeedback trainers you gotta save after every piece of data is added to my results spreadsheet. Today, the power went out, proving the wisdom of my suggestion.

There I am having a good virtual bowling session when click, zip, the screens go blank. Luckily, I’m familiar with power outages and computers having hairies. So I remained calm, and we were able to troubleshoot and get the computer revved up again. But oh boy, my trainer hadn’t saved, and I hadn’t bugged her in eons about that. We loaded Excel: was the data there? Yes! Excel had done automatic backups. Oh. But only up to the assessment. Arghhhhh! Fortunately the trainer had saved the missing results in the biofeedback software. She’ll just have to extract and copy them over.

Unfortunately for me, I had to redo the first brain biofeedback screen. I’m not sure how far I was into it. Maybe halfway. Arghhhhh.

As I got to the one-minute mark in the redo and not having as good a “run” as the first time, I thought: this is the sort of situation akin to when our Olympics athletes fall, crash, lose a qualifier or first run, and get rattled for the next one. But this Olympics our Canadians are doing something unusual: they are getting back up and are unrattled.

So why not me?

After all, I’m being trained on the same software as the athletes were for the mental part of their Games performance. I readjusted my mental game, and I was back in the groove, the power failure and trashing of my first results behind me. Sweet.

This is why I find the Olympics inspiring. Extraordinary people performing stupendous athletic feats that have lessons for us ordinary folk. From them, we Canadians can aspire to be confident, to stake a claim on the mountain of achievement and be proud of doing so. And so can people with brain injury.