BRUCE JENNER – A hero of mine !

The word is out that Bruce Jenner is going to “come out” about having some sort of gender change. When I was queried about this, the discussion went as follows:

Brooks. did you hear Bruce Jenner was going to have a sex change ?

Yeah I heard.

Does it bother you that a male Olympic champion is going change his sex ?

He was also the world record holder and titled, “The World’s Greatest Athlete” at the same time.

Yeah,…that is what I am getting at. All THAT and he is going to change !

To be frank with you, I was more upset when he left Chris, his first wife, who as an airline stewardess worked to allow him to be free to train for the 76 Olympics, than I am about his changing his gender.

How can you be upset with him  for leaving his wife, when you had already been married three times when he was Olympic champion ?

Guess that makes me a hell of a hypocrite. But I am telling you what made the biggest critical impression on me. The fact he is pursuing his own objective in HIS life is consistent with what he did to become the Olympic champion and world record holder in the toughest event in track and field. He and Chris had come from this small college in Iowa and relocated in San Jose, California to train for the impossible dream,….him becoming the Olympic decathlon champion.

Look man, I know how tough you have to be, to be the Olympic champ in any event. But the decathlon ? That takes a whole lot more dedication, focus and  hard work …….

More hard work than what ? The Heptathlon ?

No man, not necessarily the heptathlon ?

Then what ? The heptathlon is the female version of the decathlon. Did Jackie Joyner have less commitment, dedication, and hard work when she set the world record, than Bruce did when he set his ?

Man, you keep playing with these damned words,…. that is why I hate talking with you.

Then shut the —- up and hang up !!!

You are not going to get off that easy. Now tell me you are not upset to hear that Bruce Jenner is going to become a girl.

I am not upset that Bruce Jenner is going to become a woman.

How can you say that as a track coach for all these years ?

I can say that because I have been a track coach for all these years and know the things that really matter in the sport ,….and Bruce Jenner’s possible gender change is not one of them.

You already admitted you are a hypocrite, so how can I take you seriously about this.

I do not care how you take me,….seriously or not, however,  Bruce Jenner’s gender change does not alter my perception of him. I remember him saying how hard he used to train at San Jose City College. His apartment was adjacent to the track and Bert Bonanno, the head track coach, used to let him train there. All Bruce had to do was hop the fence between his and Chris’s apartment to get to the track.  Like all multi-event athletes he had one event that for no reason at all, was tougher than the rest. For him it was the pole vault. I remember him telling me how that event really messed with his head and how difficult it was for him to face the event. To his credit he overcame the fear and trepidation of the event and in the process set the world record on the world’s biggest athletic stage. I suspect he faced the gender thing in pretty much the same manner,…although it had to a thousand harder and more complicated. What he wanted he was not afraid to go after no matter how hard,…or far out,it was. How can a guy from a small college in middle America decide he is going to be the Olympic champion in the toughest event in track and field ? Only if he ultimately believes in himself and pursues it with all the courage and ability within his being.

Yeah, but did you just hear yourself ?

Hear what ?

Hear YOURSELF !!! You said how can a GUY from a small college in the cornfields of Iowa expect to be Olympic champion ? This GUY now wants to be a GIRL !

So the guy then knew what he wanted and went after it. The guy now knows what he wants and is going after it. The guy then went after it no matter what, and the guy now is going after it no matter what. It is the same person is making the decisions. Why would we admire the character and strength of his decision making back in the middle 70s and not feel the same about what he contemplating now ?

You are not getting my slant on this. He was a GUY back then !

Yeah,……and ?

Is he a GUY now ?

I do not care what he is right now. But what I do know is that he had a tough decision to make about his life, and just as he did back in the 70s he made the decision. Look, there used to be a meet at San Jose City College called the Bruce Jenner Classic. Bruce was a very big name  after the ’76 Games and allowed Bert to use his name to help promote and develop what turned out to be one hell of a meet at a time when we needed more quality domestic meets. It was an unselfish…….

We are NOT talking about track meets here !

As of now,…. we are NOT talking about anything because I am hanging up.


Brooks T. Johnson

( 407 ) 758 -0755

What does trepidation mean ?

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.