The Olympic games always get me thinking about my childhood. I was a true geek. I loved the original “Star Trek” series. I did research on each episode of “The Time Tunnel.” I played chess and brought a briefcase to school…and, I had asthma.
I loved sports. I made up baseball games using dice. I knew all of the statistics of baseball and basketball players. I’d go out into the yard of our apartment complex and throw balls against the laundry room wall. I remember throwing a baseball in the air and having it land right smack on my eye! I was a geeky asthmatic kid who loved sports.
My brother played Pop Warner football. He was the athlete in the family. I actually asked my parents if I could try out for football. I remember my mother pointing out that the first time I rolled on the grass I’d get an asthma attack.
I skipped the 8th grade and started high school at the tender age of 13. I decided to try out for the freshman basketball team. Looking back, it was pretty funny. I was not the most coordinated and I definitely had no endurance. There is something called “the weave” which is a pretty standard basketball drill that I could not learn. Being the geek that I was, I took my 4 year old brother’s “little people” and tried to figure out “the weave”. I wish I had video of this! Running was part of being on the team. I lasted less than a week.
Still, I loved sports. Baseball was my first love, but basketball and football were not far behind. The Olympics provided a great opportunity to learn about a whole bunch of other sports. I knew that George S. Patton came in 5th place in the Modern Pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics. His worst event was shooting! Swimming, gymnastics, track and field; there wasn’t an event that didn’t interest me. In a way, watching all of this on television and reading about it in the morning newspaper was my way of being part of athletics.
George Patton competing in the 1912 Olympic Pentathlon
In future blogs I’ll talk about how this geeky asthmatic kid finally did an Ironman, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy the 2012 Olympics.
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