And the Olympics, which I love, always remind me that I am no longer.
I’ve had the privilege of speaking at Athletes in Action several times, and I always give them some of my athletic credentials to justify my invitation to be with them.
Now you need to realize I am from a pre-Title IX generation. There weren’t many sports available to women. So some of you might disparage my claim. And those of you who know me now are probably laughing at the idea that I am an athlete. But I have proof.
I know you are breathlessly awaiting these revelations. So here goes.
1. I am a horsewoman. I ride western, English and bareback. I have shown in numerous shows, and I have taught riding. My dream was to be an Olympic equestrienne. If only I could afford a horse.
2. In sixth grade I raced and beat the fastest boy in school. He went on to be a running back for SMU and an alternate on the US Olympic sprint team. See, I could have made the Olympics.
3. In high school I captained a PE basketball team that went undefeated.
4. At 17 I climbed Mt. Yale, a Colorado 14,000 footer. Of course, I almost died when I had an asthma attack at the timberline. Yet here I am.
5. I was once a crack shot with a .22 rifle. At our family farm a favorite pastime was to throw all the empty cans into the stock lake and shoot holes in them. I can’t even count how many of those cans I sent to the bottom.
7. The summer I joined this mission I am a part of, we had a girls’ football game, north vs south, coached by athletes from north and south universities. An intense game, very competitive. Again I was quarterback and scored the tying touchdown. Fortunately it ended in a tie—we might have needed some serious forgiving.
8. I’m a licensed soccer coach, qualified for up to 8 or 9 years old. I coached both my daughters, and clearly had Olympic potential. One of my girls went on to be an NAIA all-American (honorable mention). Probably my husband made a greater contribution to her skills than I did.
9. Our organization participates each year in a Corporate 5K run and walk—14,000 central Florida workers circumventing Lake Eola. For two years in a row I have participated, usually bringing up the rear, pushing my grandson in his stroller. We really celebrated when we completed our first 5K together. He was 1 and I was…a bit older.
10. I associate with an awesome athlete, Traci, whom I stole from Athletes in Action to be my travel assistant. One of Traci’s t-shirts reads “I tri”. Recently she completed a half marathon and a half ironman triathlon. I keep thinking her discipline will rub off on me.
So if you have unfulfilled Olympic dreams, join me as we once again enter vicariously into the quadrennial sports extravaganza. Celebrate what might have been!
What about you? What dreams do you have?
C2012 Judy Douglass