Title: Eye of the Tiger
Description: Tag: Djavan
Joe Bailor - March 18, 2012 11:19 PM (GMT)
Friday, March 16th
was not really sure where his life was going. He had ended his career with a messed up ankle, but just because he couldn't compete anymore didn't mean he was going to let himself go. He went to the gym almost every day, deciding that it was easier to be there than pretty much anything else. He was at a crossroads in his life, and now matter how cliche that was, he was trying to "find" himself. He had dedicated his entire life to gymnastics, and he had ended with three Olympic medals - two silver and one bronze. He considered that to be a success, and he had retired pleased.
After retirement, he had done physical therapy on his ankle for a bit before getting to work on his future. The first step had been to move to Evergreen, somewhere quaint, very all american, and sign up for their match making service. He had barely dated in his life, and he was too old to be learning the ropes for the first time...so he decided why not just take the plunge? He had not expected to be married to the only girl he had ever dated in the past, giving them a second chance...one that he was still trying to earn from her. He had upset her and hurt her by choosing his career over Kate, and it would take awhile to fix that.
Thus, he found himself at the gym, Survivor's Eye of the Tiger blaring through his headphones as he ran around the track, deciding to get a few laps in before doing weights. He knew that he shouldn't do too much flipping around, at least not for a couple more weeks, but sometimes he couldn't help himself. Tumbling had been such a part of himself and he was glad that he still had the capability to do such things. He let himself smile, glad that he didn't have to focus on his work outs so much anymore, he could have fun, do what he wanted. Live his own life.
Djavan Lansing - March 20, 2012 09:08 AM (GMT)
Jay was getting fat.
Well, no. He wasn't fat and any loud proclamations as such would probably have earned him a couple of snide looks from the truly puffy; his lifestyle wasn't sedentary enough to warrant it, and he'd always been at least marginally athletic. But Julie liked cooking and he liked eating her cooking, and imagined or otherwise, Djavan had realized a couple mornings prior that those combined factors probably weren't going to be good for him in the long run. He could STOP eating the wondrous things that his wife seemed to effortlessly concoct, sure, that was the rational thing to do, but anyone who'd actually ever had Julie's cooking would have thought it wildly foolish to do so. It was also wildly foolish, in Jay's opinion, to allow himself to bulk up when he had no desire to have his bedroom privileges taken away from him - the sacrifice had to be made, and between food, sex, and his spare time, it was blatantly obvious which one he'd have to choose.
He was here, wasn't he?
It was around 2:05 when Jay decided that an hour of switching between jogging and free weights was enough for today; he still had some email correspondence with a magazine to complete and he liked to be home when Julie returned from work. But since he was on the track anyway, one more lap couldn't hurt, could it? Besides... for the last five minutes, he could have sworn that the other person there was familiar, but he couldn't place it. Jay was usually pretty decent with faces and if he felt that maybe he knew this one, had seen it somewhere before, his intuition had to be right because it often was. But why couldn't he remember? Maybe he was going nuts from being cooped up in Evergreen for so long - which to Jay was totally a plausible explanation.
Instead of letting his curiosity follow him home, he waited until the other man was close to lapping him, then turned and mimed pulling out earbuds: an obvious gesture that he had something to say, if only momentarily. Because really, it would drive him freaking INSANE if he didn't settle where he knew this kid from, and Jay probably had enough problems already.
Joe Bailor - April 2, 2012 07:58 PM (GMT)
Being an Olympic athlete had gotten Joe noticed here and there by people, but for the most part, he wasn't one of those faces that people saw and went "Oh, that's Joe Bailor form the Olympics!" Sure, he had been in several magazines, though mostly sporting, but the majority of that had been a few years ago, right after the 2008 summer games when he had brought home a few medals, though none gold. A part of the reason that Joe didn't get picked out of the crowd too often was that, despite the fact that he was good looking, he wasn't unique looking. He had a very ordinary look about him, and that made it difficult for people to notice him, meaning he didn't get approached as some of his more...distinguishable colleagues.
He was surprised when someone else who had been running on the track mimed for him to remove his headphones. He had never had anyone stop him, not at the Evergreen gym before, and he wondered if this guy worked here, if he was somehow breaking the rules or protocol in some way. He didn't want to be that guy, the one who thought that he had a right to do whatever he wanted just because he had Olympic medals, so he slowed his pace, not halting right away, as he wanted to cool down a bit, and removed the headphones, looking curiously at the other man as he slowed down even more, eventually bringing himself to a stop.
Joe reached for his water bottle and took a long gulp and several deep breaths before looking at the man. He had been at this for awhile, and his shirt clung to him through sweat - not the most desirable of ways to have a conversation, but hey, you get what you get. "Hey, what's up?" Joe asked. He was certain that he didn't know this man, so there was no way this was a friendly thing, or if it was, it was going to be a new friendly thing, not an old friend coming up for a chat at the gym. He had met a lot of people, and while he couldn't remember every face, he knew most of those from Evergreen so far, and he couldn't place this guy.
Djavan Lansing - May 25, 2012 04:04 AM (GMT)
Jay supposed, now that he had half a second to actually think about it when he wasn’t half-running backwards like a complete git, that he could have easily mixed this guy up with someone else. He was rather good with faces (it was the names that he seemed to have issue with, largely because about 80% of the time when he was meeting someone new there was alcohol involved, and about a 30% chance that he was too far gone to remember his own name), but even when you were good at things you could make mistakes. But really, it was a question that could’ve been answered in the span of a couple seconds with a yes or a no. No big deal, right? If he was wrong, so be it.
Still, he could have SWORN he’d seen this dude somewhere. Maybe it was one of those things where they’d been in the same place at the same time in the last few months Jay had been in Evergreen, and it’d created some weird form of déjà vu; like how when you dreamed up a crowd of people during R.E.M, every face was one that you’d seen before at some point in your life.
Aw hell, now that just felt creepy.
“Sorry man,” he said with an apologetic grin as soon as Joe had tugged his earbuds from their place. Right – keep it short and sweet and don’t waste the dude’s time by babbling on about something totally irrelevant (which was pretty much how Jay functioned, but if he DID know Joe somehow then there was that OH HAY moment to look forward to, and if the answer was oh hell naw foo whatchoo talkin’ 'bout it was all the more reason to head home to Julie. Or, well, head home and wait for Julie. Or head home, shower, then bother Julie at work while pretending to be a client). “Don’t mean to bother you or anything, you just look really familiar. You don’t know me or anything, right?” Aw shit, what if he did? Wait, if that had been true then he probably would’ve said something, yeah? Orrrrrrrrrrr not, if Jay had been a dick to him. While he was generally a very pleasant person while sober, territorial boundaries such as ‘your mom’ started to become blurred past a certain number of drinks, and Evergreen was a small-ass little town to be going around accidentally insinuating that a person’s maternal unit had Blood Type Rocky Road. Djavan had already learned that the hard way,
Joe Bailor - May 25, 2012 06:23 AM (GMT)
This didn't happen to Joe very often, at least not in Evergreen. He had been recognized a lot more frequently immediately following the Olympics - there had been magazine spreads and television interviews and whatnot, but now all of that had stopped, and while there had been blurbs about him quitting gymnastics, but after that, people had pretty much left well enough alone. There was no big scandalous reason why he had decided that he didn't want to partake in the sport anymore, and no one had given him any grief over it - after all, he had been injured, and while he might have been competition ready after TONS of therapy and surgery, he just wasn't ready to push himself like that anymore, especially not with no guarantee that he would ever be as good as he had been. He had been good enough for himself, and he didn't want to risk the shame of performing at less than his best, so he had thrown in the towel.
For a couple of years after Joe had quit, he had genuinely wondered whether or not he had made the right choice. There were so many factors that played into it, and he had really loved gymnastics. Was quitting bad? Did it make him a failure? He didn't know, and he was glad that he hadn't decided to really think about it much, because he was afraid that the answer would be that it made him weak, and he didn't want to be weak. However, he also realized that there was some value to be had in quitting while you were ahead. He was happy, and now spots on the teams he would be taking up could be taken by someone else, someone who still felt that drive and fire to compete. Gymnastics had been his life for too long, and he was ready for that to be done now.
That being said, Joe definitely still spent time flipping about places. He didn't let himself grow too rusty, and he could still stick landings and some dismounts, but his degrees of difficulty were low, and he just did it for fun - and fun it was. There was something freeing about bending and twisting and flipping your way across a room, there was a joy felt in knowing that he was one of a very elite group of people who could actually do that. He smiled at Djavan, wondering if he had actually recognized him. He tried to be nice when people did, as he didn't find it burdensome. He stopped moving entirely and looked shockingly at the other man. "Dude, it's me...Jamie Price..." He let out a low whistle, giving a fake name because if he gave his own, this guy might remember where he knew Joe from before he was done having his fun. "Mrs. Tafferty's class? We went to school together? You dumped ink down my shirt and I pushed you into a fountain? My, my, how easily we forget!" He clicked his tongue, knowing that it probably wasn't terribly kind of him to play this trick on a stranger, but he just couldn't resist.
He let the awkwardness stew for a bit before breaking the offended look that came with lack of recognition and bursting into a smile. "Joking, I'm sorry, I had to." He held his hand out, hoping that the other man was not offended by his jest -after all, it had been in good fun. Joe was a very playful individual - years, of having to be far too serious for his career had made him such now, and he enjoyed playing the odd joke, though this one had been short lived, as he didn't want to be mean and carry on the ruse for too very long. "Joe Bailor, as far as I know, you and I don't know each other, but there is a chance we have seen each other." He decided to give Djavan the name, and see if he placed it. Maybe this man new him from somewhere else, but it was more than likely that it was his run in the Olympics, even his medaling, that had caused this man to recognize him. The name with the face was usually enough to help people remember, and that way he didn't have to sound arrogant, explaining who he was and tooting his own horn, they could make the connection for themselves.