Retiring at 20: The Shawn Johnson Story

Sports are a really cool thing to watch on tv. You get to see athletic people perform really neat and incredible feats with their bodies. Sometimes they inspire you. Or sometimes they may drive you to the freezer to get a Fudgsicle because f it, you will never be able to be able to do anything like that so why not excel in eating semi-healthy frozen treats.

I fall somewhere in the “in between” space. I was a terrible athlete as a child, but an active one. I played soccer, tennis, and YBL basketball at the Andover/North Andover YMCA (with boys!). I think my career high in a game was 8 points, and 2 of those were for the other team. As an adult, I’ve started running, doing CrossFit, blah blah blah. But this is not about me.

I will celebrate my retirement with a Shirley Temple, please! And then I am going to space, because I look like an astronaut in this outfit.

Nope, it’s about those OTHER athletes that are so good that they depress you when they announce they are RETIRING at age 20. Yeah, I’m talking to you superstar gymnast Shawn Johnson!

Shawn is not old enough to legally drink, but she has won four Olympic medals. Shawn has not graduated from college, but she won Season 8 of Dancing With The Stars, every grandmother’s favorite television program. And she has written a book. That people actually have bought and read.

Shawn explains: “I’d like to be 30 and have kids and run around with them. It became more about my future life than this future one moment. I’m looking at the bigger picture of things.”

Oh sweetheart, I thought that too. And then I moved to New York City where straight men under the age of 40 who want to get married are like unicorns, strange and magical and nonexistent. Good luck with that!

And then last night I watched the Celts/Heat game and it was so nice to see one of my college classmates doing so well for the Heat even though I am a Celtics fan. Shane Battier and I graduated the same year from Duke. I think his income might be slightly higher than mine, but I bet he wishes he could live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment where the bathroom door does not shut all the way.

Athletes, they are just like us. Not!

Till laterz-


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