I wish, Fuller. Before track meets in college, I would be empty by the time I had to jump. I’m not sure if this made me lighter or weaker, but it was a “relief” I couldn’t avoid, and then, through its consistency and assumed reliability, something I couldn’t function without. Finding out the order of jumpers became quite an anxious ordeal if I hadn’t gone yet. I would pass at heights just to give myself more time for this custom, stupidly jeopardizing my chance to establish a good rhythm and confidence. But without that release, abiding by my body’s rhythm, I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate. It was a total mind game. Was it nerves? Or the Frosted Chocolate Fudge Pop Tarts that were invariably and inexplicably my breakfast during my freshmen and sophomore seasons? Either way, my body would revolt against me. Or maybe it saved me.
I miss the thrill of competition, and the anguished bathroom visits that became necessary before experiencing it.