It’s Not Cheap To Be An Athlete

Chapter 17, Blog 1

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


Short of 15-year-old fishing line, have you ever seen anything so snarled and screwed up? The steep price of being an Olympic athlete was climbing by the minute. Melinda took the kids and moved in with her mother, Dedra, nine blocks away, over on Franklin Street.

I tried calling. She hung up on me.

I tried visiting. She wouldn’t answer the door.

I tried writing. She sent the letters back, unopened.

I talked to Dedra, who said Melinda refused to listen. “Never has, never will.” Dedra then chastised me for being so selfish and ignorant about women. She had an inkling of what happened, but her real motivation was personal. Dedra wanted Melinda out of her house as quickly as possible. Soon, a week peeled away. My daughters came over a handful of times because they missed me. I sure missed them. I missed their mother, too. Melinda didn’t seem to care. She made the kids promise to leave if I dared bring up any “issues,” Shannon said.

After two weeks, I begged Geri to go over and tell Melinda the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She did. Melinda listened politely and then told Geri that her lawyer would contact me. Midlife crisis she could overlook. Adultery she could not. Melinda wanted a trial separation.

And who was having a midlife crisis?

Meanwhile, I left it all on the Valparaiso High School track. Melinda’s last words about the Olympics hung in the air, haunting me. Now I would do anything I had to make it. And that included running intervals with freshmen.

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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