Ten thousand and just one lap was left to complete. Meanwhile our Oleg Beskudnikov became presumptuous. "I am sick, I have no medicare," he would say then. So then our coach strictly said to me, "Youíll run, kid!" "Oh, Iíll never take the long distance. Iíve no strength, you know Maybe after completing just one lap, I will perish." But the coach said strictly, "You have to, Fedya, The main thing is to have a will to win." Will is nothing if one has no strength, but I got carried away. I jerked at ten thousand like at five hundred; I got fried. My breathing let me down, I warned the coach about that. I only ran about two laps and then fell. What a pity! And our coach, the former policeman and ex-runner up champ, He didnít permit me to go to the stadium for good. Only last night we drank with him from sadness, And today he yells to me, "Change the skates for sled!" I feel sorry for my coach, he ainít bad, but hell with him! Now Iím studying both boxing and wrestling. No longer do I have doubts in myself, itís true now. All of a sudden everyoneís polite with me, including the coach.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991