Fast Study

Never miss a thing. Here’s what has happened so far:

Chapter 1

Despite his wife’s concerns, Chuck hosts a Super Bowl party at his house, gets drunk, stops a fight and has an epiphany that he should train for the Olympic Games, alienating his best friend Ralphie.

Chapter 2

A sober Chuck doubts his Olympic potential until his wife, his daughter Shannon and his doctor unwittingly motivate him to start working out. He tries to run on his 48th birthday and suffers for it.

Chapter 3

A sore Chuck shags shot puts for Ralphie, who shows he can still compete. But when Chuck encourages his best friend to try for the Olympics, Ralphie reacts with fury.

Chapter 4

Chuck does some online research, discovering the world of track and field has evolved since he last competed. Some changes are for the better and please Chuck. Many changes are not and worry him.

Chapter 5

Letting his frustrations get the better of him, Chuck adjusts to the new reality his training is creating. After Shannon gets in trouble for defending her father against criticism, Chuck overreacts and ends up in jail.

Chapter 6

Melinda says her husband must be suffering a midlife crisis. After further online research, Chuck becomes discouraged and decides his Olympic quest is hopeless. He decides to run one last symbolic lap, gets chased by a German shepherd and outruns the dog.

Chapter 7

Back home, Chuck realizes the adrenaline rush he got from the dog scare has helped him run the quickest quarter mile of his life.

Chapter 8

Chuck rejoices over the discovery he has the ability to shift into a higher gear when he is running. The 48-year-old reflects on the last time he was so frightened — at the age of 7 when he was stung by a bumblebee.

Chapter 9

Chuck explains to his younger daughter that he is training for the Olympics despite his wife’s doubts. Jessie gives her Daddy a vote of confidence.

Chapter 10

While trying to convince his legs and other body parts to cooperate and work together, Chuck goes for a tumble and sprains his ankle.

Chapter 11

Following his neighbor’s advice, Chuck gets permission to use the Valparaiso High School track for his training. While there, he meets one of the current Viking track stars, Geri Price, who decides to help Chuck with his quest.

Chapter 12

Chuck learns about the latest in training from Geri, including much-hated intervals and roadwork, and tries hard to wrap his head around it.

Chapter 13

During a roadwork session, Chuck learns that Geri was disabled as a child. Having overcome her inability to walk motivates her to run. Chuck is humbled by the revelation.

Chapter 14

Geri gets the current 800-meter champ to race Chuck to see what the 48-year-old can do. Chuck surprises himself and the high school track stars by staying with Billy Tubbs throughout the race, losing by a nose.

Chapter 15

Chuck compares notes with Billy and pumps him for much-needed feedback about what he needs to do to be competitive.

Chapter 16

Melinda’s “friends” tell her that Chuck is running around with a younger woman. She believes them, confronts Chuck and then moves out.

Chapter 17

Melinda takes the kids and moves in with her mother across town. Despite his efforts to straighten out the situation, Chuck is ultimately left alone to train with freshmen.

Chapter 18

Ralphie tells Chuck that Melinda, Chuck’s estranged wife, might be seeking a divorce. Chuck reconsiders his quest for the Olympic Games.

Chapter 19

After reminiscing about the competitions they held in the backyard as kids, Ralphie, who competed in college, reveals he wants to train and try to qualify for the Olympics in the shot put.

Chapter 20

The hearing with Melinda and her lawyer Chuck is forced to attend does not go well after Melinda’s lawyer says Chuck has no chance to qualify for the Olympics.

Chapter 21

Chuck’s high school coach tells him about an old track coach living in an assisted-living facility in Michigan City. Checking lead, Chuck stumbles into a pot party.

Chapter 22

Before taking on the challenge to help Chuck train, Harry Nurmi evaluates Chuck’s potential. Satisfied with the results, Harry begins the task by moving into Chuck’s house.

Chapter 23

Ignoring Harry’s warning, Chuck and Ralphie participate in a regional track meet in Atlanta.

Chapter 24

After a disappointing performance in the second of two 800s, Chuck is interviewed by an intern from the Atlanta Constitution. The story about a local “58-year-old” makes it into the Valparaiso newspaper.

Chapter 25

Angry about the age error, Chuck talks to the newspaper’s sports editor, who turns out to be Chuck’s high school girlfriend Sheila Beaven, who insists on doing a proper feature story. Now that his quest to qualify for the Olympic Trials has been publicized, Chuck has no choice but to shift his effort into high.

Chapter 26

Other media outlets ask for interviews, mostly to disparage Chuck’s quest and make him look foolish. Seeing opportunities to cash in on the publicity, a few companies make endorsement offers, prompting Chuck to ask his estranged wife to be his agent. Surprisingly, Melinda accepts.

Chapter 27

To keep up with the offers — and “encouraged” by her mother — Melinda and her daughters . During winter training, Chuck forces his coach to disclose why he thought Chuck had a chance to succeed in his quest.

Chapter 28

Harry begins working on a pre-race routine for Chuck, who feels the pressure coming from his quest. Introducing a different training method, Harry tests Chuck’s blind faith and resolve. Chuck’s coach then reveals it’s time to go racing.

Chapter 29

During April, Chuck runs in small, track club events around Indiana. When he competes in the 800-meter race in Terre Haute, Chuck falls, loses his cool and learns a valuable lesson.

Chapter 30

Running out of time to post a qualifying result for the Trials, Chuck and his coach settle on the Drake Relays in Iowa for Chuck’s attempt. A snafu in the application process, however, lands Chuck in the wrong event.

Chapter 31

Chuck sits tight for a couple of nervous hours, waiting to see if he will get the opportunity to run. When he is granted the chance, Chuck makes the most of it by posting a Trials-qualifying time.

Chapter 32

Harry notices Chuck is holding back at practice and discovers that Chuck’s legs have still not recovered from the Drake Relays. Despite Chuck’s qualifying time, his application to compete in the Olympic Trials is denied.

Chapter 33

After Ralphie’s accident, Chuck visits his friend in the hospital. Ralphie urges Chuck to fight the Olympic Committee for his rightful bid to run in the Trials. At home, Harry, Melinda and Jessie team up to convince Chuck to not to give up.

Chapter 34

Harry works the phone, attempting to get Chuck a bid to the Trials. With one day to go before the Trials begin, Chuck’s friends come by to cheer him, and the gathering turns into a drunken party. Ultimately, Harry succeeds and gets Chuck a bid.

Chapter 35

Melinda successfully manages Chuck’s and Harry’s improbable dash to O’Hare and trip to Eugene, Ore., with some help from Nicky plus an important assist from Melinda’s co-workers.

Chapter 36

A weary, jet-lagged Chuck wakes up in Eugene, Ore., and can’t help but wonder if he has any business competing in the Olympic Trials. At Hayward Field, Chuck runs into the guy who snubbed him at the Drake Relays in Iowa.

Chapter 37

Chuck walks into Hayward Field and discovers it even more majestic and inspiring than he visualized. In his quarterfinal heat, Chuck runs a mistake-filled race and just does advance to the semifinals as the 15th fastest of the top 16.

Chapter 38

Trapped under a mountain of ice bags per his coach’s orders, Chuck is too worn out to fall to sleep and instead obsesses about his worthiness to compete with world-class athletes.

Chapter 39

In the semifinals, Harry uses Chuck’s fear of dogs to rally him during the race only to have Chuck tripped up by Franz only 30 meters from the finish.

Chapter 40

Citing a day-old precedent set when four women fell in their 800-meter race, track officials uphold Harry’s appeal, allowing Chuck and Franz to advance to the final.

Chapter 41

Melinda, Shannon and Jessie, Ralphie, Nicky — and even Uncle Fred — make the trip to Eugene, Ore., to lend moral support for Chuck. As the final approaches, his nerves get the better of Chuck until Shannon puts it all into perspective for her father.

Chapter 42

Chuck is all but finished during the 800 final — and out of luck — until the knowledgeable fans of Hayward Field intervene.

Chapter 43

Having qualified for the Olympic Games, Chuck must deal with the consequences, physical and mental.

Epilogue

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16 thoughts on “Fast Study

  1. I came by to thank you for liking my post “Moved On” when I found this delightful documentation of the self induced journey you are on. Fabulously well written and quite humorous I am a new fan!
    By the way I do want to thank you for popping my Lady Barefoot Baroness blog~

  2. i loved your determination and discipline. it is not easy to keep on track. the sacrifices that came along and will be coming. i hope they will be worth it in the end. keep on running Chuck! rooting for you here 😀

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