May 24, 2001

16 km run
200 hurdles jumped (no mistakes)
25 hits, 2 misses!!!! with javelin!
New *personal* best time at the 400m dash: 47.9.01!!!!

Irina is thrilled with me today! I had my best practice ever, and set a new record at the 400m! And it was so *easy*. Is this what everyone meant, when they told me I'd 'fulfill my potential' when I got older? I thought they meant after I quit growing, and had the height to really compete. This just feels like I have larger lungs and better muscles and everyone else is standing still! Can't wait until next week, and the 800m trials!

Tasi was so *mad* that I beat her that she snarled some comment about steroids, and Dmitri yelled at her for being an idiot before I could even deny it. Ha. Everyone knows who's getting 'help', and who isn't, and she *is* an idiot if she thinks anyone will believe it of me. I don't look any different than I did last week or the week before, and I don't behave like a freaked-out drug puppy, either. Beating Tasi might have been the best part of this.

No, it wasn't. It was Piotr congratulating me after, saying I ran like a dream. *Sigh!!!!* I know he is too old for me now, but... he does like me, and in two more years, I'll be 18, and he'll only be twenty-six then, and if he just doesn't get married or find a girlfriend who he *really* likes by then, maybe, maybe, I hope....

He even walked me to the bus because I told him I had a weird feeling when I came out of the locker room. (And I really did, I didn't make this up, no matter what Tasi thinks.) *So* strange. I could have sworn I *felt* someone watching me, but there wasn't anyone there, because the parking lot is so open, I would have seen them. But still-- it was the feeling I get when there's reporters in the stands, or Committee members, when I know I have to be so careful, every muscle tense and ready for the worst.

Piotr's so lovely. He says the girls on the team shouldn't take chances, not after those tourists were killed near the Square last week. (No one talks about it, but I overheard Irina telling Luda that it was grotesque, that it had to be a crazy person -- really gave me the shivers to hear *Irina* sound worried. I didn't think she had anything but steel in her veins.) I know he's worrying for nothing -- no one would stalk our team, not with our Security agents! -- but it just proves what an incredible person he is.

Although... there was that weird guy hanging out at the meet last week, who tried to talk to me. But that was just the usual sports groupie moment. I think. Even if he was *awfully* old for that kind of thing. At first I thought I was being scouted by the European Confederation, or even the Americans (!!) , but he was being so mystical about my 'destiny' that I just pretended I didn't speak English, and then Dmitri frightened him off. Poor old thing. He looked so scared, I almost felt sorry for him. But I don't have to put up with being harassed if I don't want to. Thank God Dmitri is built like a tank.

For a day that started out so awful, everything else was *splendid*.

Aunt Maya insists that my nightmare was just too much pastrami on the pizza last night. Of course she's right, but... it was so scary, and *odd*. I've never dreamed in English before. And I haven't had monster dreams since I was a little girl; all my bad dreams since then have been about school, or missing a meet, or Tasi and Ana making me look stupid. This one was -- horrible, like the photographs from Kosovo and Georgia they made us look at last year in school. But with dragons added in. With some girl who was me, or, no, she was -- my sister? Killing herself.... At least, I think that's what she did. I just felt awful, sick, and I didn't know why....

I hope I don't have any more nightmares tonight. Just happy dreams about winning the Olympics and Piotr taking me to the Bolshoi!

This is me, Volia, signing off at midnight.



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