As the Games of the XXXI Olympiad come to an end, a ‘Friday Poem’ to consider life after sport…and other career transitions.
The Aging Athlete
You’re through – no walking up and down,
you think of speed and dig your heels,
testing this soil and that for a start,
but it’s no go…Practicing for leaps,
you start forward but exhaust the push
and end up with a damaging rush,
arms hanging, hands twitching at your sides,
chin bobbing on your chest: no pride
that once sustained you as you leapt
the next hurdle, hair up then down,
the wind in your ears, the crowd beside
itself, shouting, Come on! Come on!
and you smashed the tape with your chest
and sank into the arms of many lovers.
Neil Weiss Poetry Magazine, August 1956
Photo Credit: Getty Images/USA TODAY Sports 8/15/16