I will not attempt to convey the depth of my reasoning because everyone to whom I've tried to explain how I appreciate his journey & dedication & philosophy has given me a patronizing raised eyebrow and condescending nod, so forget it. Let's just say I think he's intelligent and thoughtful...and hottastic.
But once I discovered that he diligently responds to his Twitter followers, I became determined to make an impression. Partly out of a middle-aged-woman attempt to feel less than ancient & irrelevant, and partly because I do truly believe he has wisdom to offer my students (and most teenagers) who are often floundering & uncertain about how to keep moving in life. Anthony Ervin has told his story in Rolling Stone and has put himself on the world's stage in ways that are both self-promoting & altruistic; neither is a negative thing, frankly.
I am not quite old enough to be his mother yet enough years ahead to be his capable babysitter. Plus, I am happily married 19 years to a fantastic guy. Yet, I am not blind nor dead. I am beyond caring whether people believe my intentions, and am not too proud to admit one of them is the hopeful hope that he will appear at my school in the flesh for a commencement speech. And allow me to gently touch his forearm at least once. I have a strange thing for swimmers' arms.
He's a good guy, Anthony Ervin, even if all he ever does for me is Tweet some inspirational quotes for my wayward students and feign interest in visiting Portland (done). He has gone astray in his life, experimented in ways that he is not proud of [raise your hand if you can identify], and has made efforts to seek inspiration & redemption.
If he hadn't already earned a gold medal, I'd offer one for that.
And for his arms.