I grew up in "small town America." My town had one stop light, one restaurant, one gas station. The entire high school had 200 students and everyone knew everyone. My town was just like my favorite quote from the movie "Doc Hollywood" - You can't poop in this town without everyone knowing what color it is.
In small town American you get to participate. In high school I was involved in everything - tennis, basketball, weight lifting, track, student council, band, choir, drama, etc. In small town America high school sports you compete against other equally small and usually awful (as we were too) schools. We traveled to exotic places like Baltimore, Amanda, and Heath, Ohio to compete against the same teams over and over again. One school we competed against frequently was a super-close, private school: The Columbus Academy. They were equally as small but usually competitive and because they were a 15 minute bus ride from our school, our track team probably competed against them 3-5 times per season.
My best event in track was the 400. Yep, I was one of those crazies who ran and liked the 400. Let me mention, I am 5'1". Most people who run the 400 are much taller. They are usually good at it and don't have to take as many steps. Generally, I could hold my own against these giants. But there was one athlete at Academy that would beat me solidly every time.
Let's fast forward several years.
I am a fan of triathlon. I may not enjoy doing it, but I like to read about it, follow it on twitter, watch it when it's on TV, go to races, etc. I like a few pros, namely, Mirinda Carfrae, Linsey Corbin, and Meredith Kessler. Now, I knew Meredith Kessler was from Columbus, Ohio but it wasn't until I saw a tweet from her last spring that I started putting two and two together. Her tweet said something to the affect of looking forward to being the commencement speaker at her alma mater Columbus Academy.
I started Googling. What was her maiden name? What year did she graduate? Did she play sports? And all of a sudden it made sense. She used to totally kick my ass at track meets! Meredith Kessler, the super star professional triathlete, is a local girl I ran against in high school! How cool is that?!
We're practically best friends.