As published in “” September 12, 2019

As a kid, I never thought about the Olympics.

I thought about going to the library and taking out a “how-to” book on self-coaching for track and field, along with a pile of crummy joke books to add to my joke collection. I thought about jumping over curbside garbage pails on the way home from school to practice hurdling just because I wanted to do what my older sisters could do. I thought about surpassing my personal best in as many events as I was allowed to compete in for my elementary school because I loved how competition always brought out my best results. For each of the three meets that would sum up the track & field season, I recorded my results in my journal next to my thoughts about boys I liked and other important life events.

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