Gerald walked to work like he did every morning, thoughts many miles away.
‘You could make the Olympics if you were so inclined’ Gerald recalled his coach saying one time at school with fondness. Gerald’s school days were a glorious tirade of athletic celebration and popularity.
Gerald recalled one moment in his past that should have been the defining moment of his life. The coach turned to Gerald at the biggest national school athletics event of the decade. ‘It’s up to you Gerald. It’s this moment that will define our place in Australian school history. I need you to win!’
Jerry strapped into his shoes and strut out to the starting line. He was all too aware of the power of his lucky jock strap that he had worn in all of his previous races. A reason why he never washed it.
Unbeknownst to him his mother had thrown it in with the darks the previous night, horrified at the thought of five years of winning races without a good clean. The result of a thorough wash and rinse cycle, the jock strap had reduced slightly in size.
The gun fired, signalling the runners with athletic grace toward the finish line.
The chaffing began almost immediately.
Not quite a few metres in and the once gazelle like stride of Gerald’s gait was reduced to a paralytic staggering of an 80 year old high on Oxcarbazepine.
It was the worst loss that was witnessed in the entire school’s event.
It wasn’t long before Gerald experienced a decline in popularity faster than the final moments of the Titanic. Burger rings became a close companion and he noticed his hair thinning.
Feelings that he had battled in for many years had been worked through with thousands of dollars of psychological treatment. Today was the first day since that event that he finally felt free of the emotional baggage he had been carrying.
All undone in a single moment.