Chapter 39, Blog 1
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
Back-to-back races? Not since Des Moines. After that party, I couldn’t walk without pain for a week. Now it was worse. My overworked legs were so tired, they didn’t have the energy to hurt. Add to that, my lucky charms Melinda and the kids couldn’t make it until the finals – if I got there. I peeked at Harry. Not a care in the world, he snored in peaceful, little bursts of gunfire. Angry, anxious and alone, I stood in a quicksand of doubt up to my knees and sank deeper with each new thought.
Why didn’t my coach prepare me better?
… he tried …
Why didn’t I do more interval training?
… maybe because YOU hated it …
Why won’t Harry tell me what happened the last time?
… ’cause you can’t handle the truth …
I had worked harder than a street sweeper after a parade of horses with diarrhea to get here. But thanks to Harry’s warning, I realized the semifinals waited up the road, ready to ambush me. I felt like an eighth-grader again, sitting outside Principal James’ door, hearing a kid wailing from the impact of James’ paddle – and knowing I was next.
Yes, I also saw the Olympics poking over the horizon, but annoying little facts made my windmill stomach spin overtime.
I should have peaked by now.
I should have concentrated more on race strategy.
I should be ASLEEP.
… shoulda, coulda, woulda … freakin’ barracuda, shuddup, you’re giving me a migraine …
Before the quarterfinals, I didn’t have the time or the sobriety to obsess. Except for the last 20 meters today, that had worked just fine.
… hit the reset button, click, click … good God, it’s stuck …
I held an ice bag on my back and lied down.
“Hey, Sonny Boy, what seems to be the trouble?”
… who IS that…
“I think it’s time we had that heart-to-heart chat.”
… I tried. He’s the Tin Man …
I looked around. Nobody. Just the old lady’s voice hanging above me.
“What?” I asked. “Are you the Ghost of Christmas Past?”
“No, worse, Bobo …”
“Yes, Honey, what are you so uptight about?”
“Go away. I already hear enough voices.”
“But I want to help. What’s this mess you got yourself in?”
“No, Mom, it’s all right. I don’t need your help. Really.”
.. that’s what he thinks …
“No, really,” I said.
“You know, mother knows best.”
“OK, wake me out of this nightmare and go away.”
“That little man is right. You are so rude.”
“Hey, stop right there. I don’t need any more lectures.”
I looked at Harry. He snored on.
“Good night, Mom. I need some sleep.”
“OK, Honey, but remember what I used to tell you.”
“That I’ll go blind if I … ”
“No, Silly, just do your best. That’s all they can ask.”
How I wish I could.
Copyright © 2013 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang