Geoff, age 8
Portland, OR (1984)

I loved gymnastics! Floor routine, uneven bars, vault, all of it.

And I wanted to be Mary Lou Retton!

The girls' routines were so fun and dramatic. I was so disheartened to learn that boys were relegated to the rings and PARALLEL bars.


At my gym, boys couldn't even use the uneven bars after age 7 and I refused to hear any rationale as to why. I was going to break through the gender barrier and show 'em all how fabulous I could be, twirling around up there.

Any attempts to get me interested in football, basketball or baseball fell on the deafest of ears.

I remember running away when my dad tried to play catch with me and was less than impressed with my girly throw.

I didn't have the words for it at the time, but I wasn't butching it up for anybody.