I Quit

Chapter 6, Blog 2

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang



Now that I had told my wife, however, I knew I had to get serious. What did I need to make it happen? Back online, I pecked in Olympic Games qualifications and found fabjobs.com/tips137. The folks there considered training for the Olympics a legitimate, full-time job. Step by step, their website outlined what an athlete had to do to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. And of course, they made it sound so damned simple.

  1. Assess your physical condition. That’s easy, I’m still breathing.
  2. Choose a sport. I’m a runner. I run.
  3. Find a place to train: The streets? My street?
  4. Join your National Governing body. No jokes, please.
  5. Start competing. Already, I can beat most of the small children on my block.
  6. Get a coach. Right.
  7. Visualize your success. I sat back and closed my eyes. I saw the gold medal gleaming, floating in front of me.
  8. Find financing. Don’t think Melinda will go for that second mortgage.
  9. Attend the national championships. Check. I’ll order the tickets today.
  10. Qualify for the Olympics. No problem.

Sure, they told me exactly what to do.

But knowing was one thing. Getting it done was another.

This WAS it. Whom was I kidding? Dream busted.

Hell, 48, I might as well be 108. I could see I had no business wasting any more time on this. I had no Olympic-sized heart. Or endorsements. I was cool until Step No. 6. What the hell was I going to do about a coach? Prompted, the tiny voice spoke up.

… go ask Coach Rockard, you Olympic moron. Gee, do I have to tell you everything …

The tiny voice, nasty as always, was right. But maybe Melinda was right, too. My Olympic quest had all the elements of a midlife crisis. That made me sad. I felt good about training. I felt I was accomplishing something. Guess I was just fooling myself. So that night I went to bed a quitter. I would sleep in – and skip practice.

… quitter, quitter …

… Mr. Johns will say you’re a quitter …

… Mrs. Fuqua will say you’re a quitter …

… Melinda will say you’re a quitter …

… Ralphie will say you’re a pussy – any way you go …

I ignored the taunts, rolled over and fell asleep.

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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