Dead In The Water

Chapter 32, Blog 5

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


“I will write it down for you.” Harry started scratching the prescription on a notepad. I didn’t know whether I should tell him I swam like a fat rock skipping on water. My head began to fill with OCD dread.

… speak up now OR you’ll be sorry …

“Harry, do I have to swim?”

My coach stared blankly at me.

“Can you walk through the pool, perhaps in the shallow end?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Go do it. It is vital to get some low-impact movement in those legs.”

“All right.” I felt relieved. “I can do that.”

“In the meantime, I will make some calls and see what else we can try. We will start with the Y now that I have preconditioned you,” he said.

“OK, but we need to get that paperwork for the Trials in the mail soon.”

“Let me worry about that,” said Harry.

“And let’s not put my age on it,” I said.

“I think it does ask for your birth date.”

“Do we have to fill that in?”

“We shall see, Princess. What we need now is for you to process the soreness and quickly. You can do it.”

“I-I … “

“Listen. You are too far down the road to let a pair of recalcitrant legs stop you,” said Harry. “For once in your life, believe in yourself.”

“Harry, I DO believe.”

… liar  …

“That is a little better. Now, skedaddle.”

Three days later, I did believe, almost. Targeted visualization plus alternating hot and cold therapy on my stubborn legs – and a tub of Advil – did away with about 75 percent of the lingering pain. My coach was a genius, and he told me so.

Maybe he was right.

Finally, I tackled the mountain of paperwork every Olympic Games hopeful has to climb to apply for an invite to the Trials. Not only did you have to qualify, you had to prove you could also read, write and follow bewildering directions. We downloaded and printed the forms from the U.S. Track and Field website, and Harry helped me fill them out, birth date and all. Three hours later, I had them stuffed in a fat envelope and in the mail.

I was almost there.

A week later, I received a one-page letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee. After reviewing my application, the committee had decided to invoke “Rule No. 149.”

I was denied an Olympic Trials invitation.

Melinda had more bad news.

“Charles, sit down.”

“Now what?”

“Ralph’s had an accident.”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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