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.


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 🙂


  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!!!


    • 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!


    • 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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