Of course, I wasn’t alone. Any kid growing up in the early 1960s in Columbus, Ohio was going to be a basketball star and play for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
My dad, my uncle and a couple older cousins had all been college athletes. I would grow up to be six-foot-five and enjoy the speed of a gazelle. I just had to work hard and let my dreams come true.
Work hard I did. But I never got much beyond five-foot-ten and developed the slovenly speed of a basset hound. (Actually, comparing my speed to that of a basset hound is an insult to the noble dog.) I made the basketball team in high school, but the biggest challenge I faced was not getting too many splinters from all the time I spent on the bench.
At the opposite end of the athletic spectrum was Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Speed…strength…coordination…Olympic Gold. But we apparently held something in common (no…not THAT). We were both disappointed by the genetic hand we were dealt.
In my case, I had to come to terms that the world of college and professional basketball would proceed without my direct contribution. That required acceptance of the reality of nature and God’s plan for my life.
In Jenner’s case, he decided to do something about his inner desire to be, well, a woman. Hormone treatments. Surgery. Makeup. Cover of a fashion magazine. The problem is, even with all of today’s science and technology, a human being can’t change the hand dealt by nature – and God. But with the help of God, he can accept who he is.
Jenner’s situation combines sadness and arrogance. He needs our prayers. And much more than more medical treatment, he needs an honest counselor and a brave spiritual director.