But what I was seeing as I felt my stomach growl and my nylons riding down my crotch was a puberty miracle.
At that point I was getting clobbered as a field hockey fullback, desperately defending the goal against an onslaught of veteran hoss players.
I was in the lineup because the team was short-handed that year and took anyone who would wear a skirt and hold a stick.
We’d fall asleep spooned together, waking up just in time for me to scramble out of his room at dawn, and for him to drag himself to early morning practice. I was the first Mormon he’d ever dated — and he was the first “non-member” (the term Latter-day Saints use to identify those not of their faith) I’d ever dared try out as a boyfriend.
We swam in Lake Ontario every chance we got because it was the one permissible activity that allowed us to gaze at and lie next to each other with the least amount of clothing on our bodies as possible. I had to explain that, as a true believer and follower of the faith, I was 100 percent committed to: no drinking, no smoking, no coffee, no tea, church for three hours every Sunday, and, of course, no premarital sex. ” I blushed, and admitted I didn’t even know what those words meant; at that point in my life I hadn’t even watched an R-rated movie. The only rules about sex his hippie parents had taught him to live by were to always give a girl more pleasure confine his competitive streak to running — he wanted to win my body over so bad.
What kind of crazy, dogmatic, cultish system would make you want to do such a thing? But instead of breaking up, he made me a deal: He would learn about my religion, if I would learn about running.
” Our worlds, up to that point, had been too different. Running was his church, the dogma behind discipline, self-sacrifice and denial.
Because your life depends on it.” I agreed, and stood behind the Plexiglass window by the nursing station, waiting for the bin that held all the belongings I had been required to hand over the day I checked in: my wallet, my keys, and the laces from my running shoes.
As I threaded my sneakers and prepared to keep my promise by jogging home to the apartment I shared with four other Yale grad students, I remembered another deal, the one that started this whole mess.
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