Nastia Liukin is 18. She is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Shawn Johnson is 16. She is an Olympic Gold Medalist (Spoiler alert! That isn't on NBC until tonight. My apologies.).
Realizing this fact, I reached back into my bag of memories and tried to remember what productive things I was doing during those formative years of my youth. This is what I came up with: not too freakin' much.
At 16 I was...
...spending an abnormal amount of time watching the University of Tennessee women's basketball team on TV. I taped all of their games. Yes, taped. VHS.
...chatting a lot on the MSN Highway of Love. Russellville didn't have AOL, so we kicked it on MSN.
...spending a lot of time at the family dinner table doing geometry problems with Reggie.
...listening to a lot of heavy, abrasive, scary rap on the way home from basketball practice everyday. Sometimes we'd switch it over to Destiny's Child.
...working on my jump-shot a lot and preparing myself to accept a scholarship offer from Pat Summitt and the University of Tennessee. Old dreams die hard. And in this case, fast.
...trying to make up choreographed dances for the cheerleading squad.
At 18 I was...
...burning a lot of CDs for myself and others. Napster made me popular.
...driving a little red Corolla.
...answering to the name of, "Thriller."
...buckling up stuffed animals in the back of my little red Corolla because I thought it was funny.
...venturing to the Dixie Cafe with my gUrls and ordering only milkshakes and rolls.
...dancing by train tracks and cruising in mini-vans.
...spending a lot of time straightening my hair.
Clearly, that was time well spent. It prepared me for all the time I spend watching reality tv and blow drying my hair.