I mumbled something about how it must have been the energy I got from the Hershey bar.
He said, "Well, whatever it was, you keep it up. Now cool out. Jog around."
Of course, I didn't. As soon as the coach was off somewhere else I started to make my way out of the stadium as unobtrusively as I could. But before I could get to the gate, I caught the tail end of what the P.A. announcer was saying: "...a new Black Cat Relays record in the 180-yard low hurdles. Nineteen-point-six seconds."
The crowd started to applaud, and Rooster came over and clapped me on the back. "That's the way to go! Congratulations." I made some reply and started toward the parking lot, still wearing my spikes and warmups. I didn't dare go in the locker room to change. Rooster watched me for a few steps and said, "Still practicing walking without your feet touching the ground?" "Just about," I said.
The finals weren't until that afternoon, so I went home to survey the damage. It was bad. The blister, now about the size of a silver dollar, looked like a piece of raw calf's liver. I was pretty melancholy. Here I had just set my first and only track record (I had never before broken 21 seconds in the event), and I probably wouldn't be able to run in the finals.
Fortunately, my mother was out when I reached home, so I got out the pan again and set to work with the water, salt and iodine. But I knew it was a lost cause, because I had only about three hours before the finals, and the foot was worse than it had been the night before.
I ran the race, mainly because I couldn't think of a good way to get out of it, but I would rather not tell you too much about that. The part I remember best was between the third and fourth hurdles. Coach Rogers was at the side of the track yelling at me, "You're not running! You're not running!" Which was true, but I wasn't limping either. I had about an inch-thick pad of bandages on my foot, which wasn't doing anything to improve my style or my coordination.
I finished last. When the race was over I went out to the middle of the infield and sat down, trying to figure how I was going to get out of the stadium and to my home.
Coach Rogers came over and said, "What in the world was the matter with you? You looked like you were running on one leg. Where was that guy who ran this morning?" I mumbled something about him forgetting to give me a Hershey bar. He turned around in disgust. "Oh, the dickens! A Hershey bar wouldn't have made that much difference. Good grief! Hershey bar!"
I said, "Well, it was psychological."