AN OLYMPIAN IN OUR MIDST

olympic 1

Team USA is headed to Rio to compete in the Summer Olympics.  Sure, the athletes come from someplace, but not usually my own neck of the woods.  There’s nothing like a brush with fame to rekindle one’s own internal fire.  Heartened, we dare to dream, embrace our own talents and abilities, strive to make the most of whatever we’ve been given.

FIFTY FEET FROM GRACE

A middle-aged Aqua-Robics class:
overhanging bellies, cellulite thighs,
boobs not quite contained in Spandex
shaking to the beat of a boom box

Backward, forward, left and right,
losing our rhythm, falling out of step
Alongside us, a tireless lap swimmer
whose chiseled arms are turbines

propelling her lithe, graceful body
down the lane (somersault) and back
She is an Olympian, the lifeguard says,
a triathlete who will compete in Rio

Just being in the pool with her,
moving around in the same water,
inhabiting the aura of her celebrity,
envelops us in a wave of energy

We jump, lunge, push, pull and twist
with renewed vigor, glancing her way,
gaping in awe when she exits the pool,
dons a prosthetic leg, and walks away

She’s the embodiment of bald courage,
a rising star in a galaxy of dreamers
Envious, wistful, emboldened, I muse:
Dare I pen words with equal audacity?

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17 thoughts on “AN OLYMPIAN IN OUR MIDST

    • Just Joan August 8, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      Hoping Scrabble will become an Olympic sport one day 🙂

      Like

  1. Tippy Gnu August 7, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Wow, and an amputee at that! It will be interesting to see how she does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan August 8, 2016 / 1:52 pm

      She is doing triathlon (run, bike and swim) in the PARA-Lympics in Rio in September, so she will be competing on an even playing field. You bet I will be watching, and cheering if our hometown girl makes good. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan September 18, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Tippy, FYI, Grace Norman won the GOLD in the first Paralympic Triathlon, then took BRONZE in Track 400-meter with a time of 1:01.83. Talk about a hometown girl making good! WOW! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tippy Gnu September 18, 2016 / 6:57 pm

        Great! Good for her. And now you know a celebrity. I’m no amputee, but there’s still no way I could run that fast.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyce August 8, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Admire her greatly. But she kept splashing me and got my hair wet 😃😃🏅🏅🏅🏅

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kamunde August 12, 2016 / 3:15 am

    Oh! That’s so wonderful and i i love the way you’ve described your interactions at the pool. Especially this line “a rising star in a galaxy of dreamers” . Has she seen this poem? This community of dreamers give her all our LOVE!!!

    Like

    • Just Joan August 12, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      Thanks, Aston. Some people sit around dreaming, some people get out there and reach for it. She is amazing and inspiring. I want to write the way she swims–graceful and practiced, but always hovering on the edge, daring herself to push a little harder, go a little faster. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • kamunde August 13, 2016 / 2:36 am

        Very inspiring indeed, i can relate this poem with mine …I’m Ready. Thanks for that wonderful poem!

        Like

    • Just Joan October 5, 2016 / 2:43 pm

      If I could write the way this gal runs, bikes, and swims, I’d be honored. Inspiration found in my own back yard. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 October 5, 2016 / 3:53 pm

        It is always amazing how it matters when someone comes from your neighbourhood or city. It’s like their fame rubs off on you. So I’ll congratulate you for your homey Joan😀

        Liked by 1 person

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