Cast your mind back to 1989.
I had just turned 17 and every night I went to bed dreaming that I would one day win Olympic Gold and every morning at 5.30am my poor, long-suffering mummy would have to drive me to the pool for swimming training. I was completely obsessed and had been since I first saw swimming on TV at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in ’82. Go Tracey Wickham!
At 17 I still thought this dream was in my grasp. Only a few short years later I realised that… a) I was too short, b) too fat, c) not talented enough. If only my talent would have matched my love for the sport I would now have my face on stamps.
Ahhhh but such good memories of my swimming days!
Back in the day, at each swimming carnival you were able to buy a T’shirt to say you were there. This is July ’89 when I was at the peak of my skinny little powers (with such a big fringe!). I swum really well at this carnival, I still remember. This is me with my coach Deny and team mates from Griffith Michella, Annaleise and Bobbie. It was in Canberra at the AIS and I cut my ankle in the post-race spa. By the way I am the same height now as I was then, sad but true.
Jump forward 22 years…
I STILL HAVE THAT T’SHIRT!
It is absolutely my most favourite piece of clothing I’ve ever had. He’s been through so much and he’s starting to look battle-worn. He makes me feel thin and gorgeous and fit like I was back in 1989. I wear him to bed, I wear him out, I wear him when I’m having a fat day. If it fit me in ’89 things can’t be too bad if I can still wear it today. Its been washed even more times than I’ve eaten pizza.
I love that goddamn T’Shirt!
But now he’s starting to get so holey I have trouble hanging him on a coat hanger – he’s too important to just lay flat! I think when he finally gives it in I will also have to give up my youth. And my dream of being an Olympic swimmer. All that time wasted practising miming to the national anthem for when I was on the gold medal podium. Goddamn so much dies with this shirt. Or maybe, just maybe, I am just a sentimental old fool!
So this post is in dedication to all those who cling to their dreams. Who like me struggle to let go of their past. Or lost youth! Surely I can’t be the only one? Still to this day if I can’t fall asleep at night I think of myself swimming. Let the dream go St. Murphy, let the dream go! You are Geoff Huegill in the bad, fat days at best.