Hi, friends and readers:
Ever been to a cross-country meet? You’d be amazed at the wondrous sights you’d see if you went to one, like the young man you see at left. Hot stuff, eh?
Distance running is on my mind this morning, due to a comment I received from a young man named Geoff. He said this:
“A while back you published comments from two gay distance runners who weren’t out to their teammates or hardly anyone else. I could have written those comments myself, because I’m in the same boat.
“I have a full scholarship to a state university in the northwestern U. S., it’s a school that’s always been big in NCAA track and field competitions. I run 5K and 10K races, just like one of the guys who wrote you.
“My school’s in somewhat of a small town, which poses a problem. I can’t be open about my sexuality. If my coach and teammates found out I was gay, I’m not sure what would happen. Maybe nothing, but maybe something. My parents can’t afford to pay for my education. If I lost my scholarship I’d probably have to quit school. I’m the first in my family to attend college and I want to graduate
“So, I’m not allowing myself to visit our local gay bar, and I haven’t joined the LGBT group on campus. It’s a lonely situation, one I wish I could fix. I’m home for the summer, and last month I took a weekend trip by myself to Seattle. I went to a gay club for the first time, and I met a guy who I ended up staying with for two days. They were the best two days of my life. To be able to show affection to another male and not be ashamed about it was amazing. We are staying in touch by e-mail and we will see each other again during August. I feel like I’ve been let out of a cage!
“I also want to thank you for mentioning that book called The Front Runner. I’ve read it three times. It make me feel better about myself, plus there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there about the world of distance running.
“Thanks, Martin, for your blog and the things you have to say, and for letting guys like me vent to others in the same same situation. You can publish this comment if you’d like.”
Thank you, Geoff, for sharing your story with me and others who follow this blog. I think it’s great you found someone you can be yourself with. As to whether or not you should “out” yourself to your coach or teammates, I have no opinion since I don’t know them. But I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize your scholarship.
Okay, everyone: I’ve already walked on the beach and taken a swim. I have much to do with my writing today, so I’ll sign off. Enjoy your Thursday, wherever you are.