Here it is 2009, and I am 46 years old. I couldn't be happier with my life, and my choices. Back in 1983, during the Olympic Qualifying meet and all the intense training meant I had to not be around the one person I wanted to be with the most and all the time. We eventually grew apart, or at least that's what we told each other because our relationship just was not compatible with the grueling regimen we both were under. I met this polo player and I was with him up through the meet, I was a mere and extremely naive 20 year old (despite the experiences I've had over the last years since being seen by the most egotistical-pig of a man coach anybody has ever had to endure-yet, he drove us to success in the Los Angles Summer Olympics) who was in second place out of a field of eight, with only two making it to the Olympics. I competed in Pentathlon with Tory, and she wrenched her right knee-an old injury she got years before we even met for the first time back in Oregon. I had some how managed to overcome my first events that were marked with me knocking over one hurdle, putting me last and with no hope, or so it seemed. By the time we got to the last event, I'd managed to put myself into second place by a very wide margin, so wide that I could finish the race did last and still make it to LA Games. But, this was Tory's last chance; two whole laps around the track and she had to beat (by a significant margin) her major competition. I loved, I adored, and I wanted Tory to go with me...and I knew her competition couldn't outrun me stride-for-stride.
We got on the field, I saw Tory warming up, she was going to finish this one way or another. I knew she'd stick to the training program we went through on this race; Tory would conserve energy on the first lap, then she'd make her move, and finally she'd pass me and the competition on the back-end of the straight-way to the finish line. All I had to do was get the woman, who was Tory's direct competition, to give chase to my full on sprint throughout the entire race. It totally worked, And Tory was first and going to the Olympics with me. After that race, I had never knew such joy and agonizing pain all at once. When we finally got back to the locker room area, I was taking into the Sports-Science area, where they pumped me so full of IVs and shoved so many bananas down my throat...that it was no wonder that night I was more sick than I had been then when I'd seriously made that stupid mistake of eating that fruit, a few years back. I was so sore and sick for weeks afterwards, it was a day-to-day battle to even recognize that I was feeling better and the soreness was subsiding to more defined leg muscles.
The months that followed were intense, even more intense than what led up to the trials, first Tory had to rehab immensely and I was sprinting around the track so many times a day that I lost track of how many. I even decided to really work-out my leg muscles and intensive my high-jump, long-jump, and my best even the hurdles. I was so involved that I wasn't getting back home until very very late. Mid-Summer came, I'd set the polo boy free-it would've never have worked anyway; I was too in-love with Tory, that I was spending more nights at her place as she healed from her knee rehab. I'd never cheated, because Tory wouldn't let me...too much implications to start and continue to grow a life-long relationship on. However, I started Tory slow to get back up to sped, and then within two weeks before the Los Angeles' Games Tory's training was as grueling and exhausting as my own. She, however, had other strengths that she worked on, that kept us apart, but I loved watching her, as surely as much as she loved watching me and I knew when she was watching. Our presence together was now advocated on the field and off; as I had moved back in with Tory.
In, I got the honor of carrying in the American flag in the Opening Ceremony's Parade of Nations. Tory got to carry it during the Closing Ceremonies, as she won the Gold (and I the Silver) in such a fashion that carried over into leading the US Womens' Team's Gold Medal. Tory had two gold medals, and I had one Team Gold and Silver Individual Medal, when we returned home. By the end of the summer, Tory announced her retirement and took on my training as my coach full-time.