I trained my entire life for this. All 12 years. I've never won first place but this year I've done everything right. I ate the right food, I did my work outs harder every day. Doubled my testosterone intake. Halved my Human Growth Hormone intake to lose mass and gain speed. I'm bald as a baby and I cry twice as much. I need to make this jump.
The entire night, I couldn't tell my tears from my sweat. No one ever said the change in dosage would make me sweat in my sleep. And the doctor said I would stop crying in my dreams too. He visits me in my dreams, my doctor. I keep calling him my doctor but he's really my dad. I've called him doctor my whole life.
I think I have a tumor growing under my arm. The average citizen takes a slowly increasing dosage of testosterone and anabolic steroids throughout their lives. They have it easy. They know when their body will quit and they can plan for an early retirement with assisted living after their muscles break down. Athletes take double or triple the dosage, then have their personal trainers adjust the ratios of other chemicals to increase specific abilities.
I grab a handful of sand and rub it between my hands. This is my landing zone. I can easily run as fast as anyone here, that's the easy part. What I've hopefully mastered is the jump. Australia has beat us every time and this is my last year of eligibility.
I go back 25 meters. I put my hands on the pavement. My breath is hot. The pavement is hot. My shirt feels tighter than it should. It's being stretched over the growth under my arm. The clock starts to countdown.
\5. There's a bit of jerky stuck in my teeth. I wasn't supposed to eat meat this entire month. It takes too long to digest. It weighs me down.
\4. It's peppercorn flavored jerky. I don't even like jerky, I was too hungry and knew the protein would keep me full.
\3. I hate the number three.
\2. Why was someone even offering jerky in the locker room. No one eats before their event.
\1. I start running. I stop running. 25 meters is hardly more than a couple steps. My knees bend, my body drops, my mind braces. I need my name to go down. I jump.
Most people can't jump forward less than 2 feet. It's physically impossible with tree trunk sized legs of solid muscle.
It feels like I'm in the air forever. I land 4 centimeters from where I jumped. The record is 3.88 centimeters. The australian lands at 3.85 right after me. He amputated both his arms for speed and I can see tumors just starting to grow where his armpits used to be. I kept one arm in case I didn't make the record books and it held me back. Now I'm one arm short of who I used to be and a few years away from wasting away into a helpless ball of muscle and cancer. And I'll probably still have this peppercorn jerky stuck behind my teeth by then.
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