Friday, February 3, 2012

USSR vs Jenner

Would it be news if I said I no longer wanted to be Bruce Jenner?  It wasn't always this way.  In Montreal '76 he was our All-American iconic male that beat the crap out of the Soviet thugs.  He was Bruce Jenner an Adonis and the Worlds Greatest Athlete and he carried it.  What happened to Bruce Jenner?  His whole demeanor and persona has changed these days and he looks like a Sally Jenner or something odd like that.  I'm confused about it & feel bad for him.

Thanks to a new friend Keith Kelly I'm going to the New Balance Indoor Track & Field Grandprix tomorrow evening at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.  Keith works for New Balance and comped tickets for me which is a real score cuz this event sells out instantly and I have wanted to go for years so thanks again Kel!

Anyway, childhood associations are strong and this meet has got me thinking about my days as a budding Decathlete idolizing Bruce Jenner. These were my Huck Finn years, a tweener with torn up jeans caked with red clay romping outdoors in the jungle-ish wooded canopy along the Potomac River that was my neighborhood in Great Falls, VA.  I hadn't a care in the world, no responsibility and no particular goal but all that started to change after I watched Bruce Jenner run his V lap in Montreal waiving the Stars & Stripes to an elated crowd and Nation and it affected me a great deal.  These were different times. The economy was in the weeds, there were long lines to get gas, we were just a few years from Vietnam and it seemed to me like the USSR was kicking our ass all over the world.  So when Bruce Jenner won the Gold it felt to me like he had won it for all of us and I cried.

After watching all of that impulse hit me faster than my intellect could follow.  I immediately got up and ran to the garage, grabbed a paint brush and a can of white paint then dashed off to our street where I commenced to pace off and mark 100, 200 & 400 yard distances so that I could start training for the next Olympic Decathlon in four years.  And I did train, everyday, hard, by myself.  I trained vigorously that whole summer and autumn without input or assistance from anyone and I loved it.  This was the first time I ever thought about training per say.  Moreover, it was the first time I thought about sacrifice & committing to a regime in order to get something otherwise impossible to obtain and not just for myself either.  In my mind, it was for all of us, truly.  It was a sweet and powerful moment. I felt good and strong and I loved the former Bruce Jenner for that.