The other night one of the Chinese pairs skating in the Olympics attempted some fancy quadruple throw they only complete about forty percent of the time. This wasn’t one of them. Only minutes into the program, the girl landed sprawled out on the ice, twisted like a pretzel. She couldn’t even stand up straight, let alone finish. The music ground to a halt. The guy picked her up and slid her over to the team doctor. My heart broke for them, watching the end of their Olympic dream come to such a painful end. But suddenly the doctor seemed to give her the all clear. A pat on the knee was all she needed. She threw up her arms, cued the music, did a few laps on the ice and the two of them took it from where they’d left off. They earned the silver medal.

It occurred to me that winning is about more than talent, hard work, luck, timing and preparation. It’s about learning to smile through the pain.

I’ve recently been diagnosed with heart problems, and I’ll likely have to be on medication my whole life. That’s the best case scenario.The worst case is having to trade the thing in for a new one. This isn’t likely to happen any time soon, or even at all, but the possibility of facing heart failure has made me question the relative import of all my other failures. 

On the pain scale, I’d rank writing a new screenplay somewhere below a heart transplant and winning an Olympic medal with a cracked kneecap. Since the last eight haven’t sold, it’s hard to say why I believe so firmly that the next one will be my ticket to the top. Then again, like that skater sliding face down across the ice, I can’t help thinking that was never really the point.


  1. I saw that as well Julie, really inspiriational. That is not great news about your heart, I hope yours stays right where it is. I have similar situation with kidneys, could go well for the rest of my life, could pack it in tomorrow. But, we live for today, don't we!

  2. Right on, sister! Don't fret about your heart, I have confidence you'll get what you need to be well and get that silver...er script sale.

  3. I was puzzled by the Silver since it was such a big fall and she was off the ice longer than the rules said she could be.

    Sure, a Gold for courage and effort ... and you are right, that's what's more important. (William Hung comes to mind for some reason.)

  4. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Hi Jules, in Phoenix doing a bit of training for a company here. I'm waiting for my plane and started catching up on where my friends are. So here you are with HEART PROBLEMS. Holy cow, and you should have called me or something. It sounds like things might be okay for a while BUT take care of yourself. And watch those darn meds. Sometimes they cause as much harm than good. Research, research, but above all else, eat, drink, and live healthily. I'm thinking of you in Phoenix - SHANE

  5. What are you doing in Phoenix? Come back, Shane. Come back. (Couldn't resist).

    Thanks to all for your nice words...

    More soon, JGTH