“I Did It for the Attention!”: The Heel Strike Athlete’s Interview with Caitlyn Jenner*



As even the whippiest whippersnappers by now know, back in the 1970’s, Bruce Jenner was the most famous athlete in America – maybe even the world. As a decathlete, he was a miler and a sprinter – a rare breed indeed. At the top of his sport, he was admired by men, desired by women, and the corporate sponsors came clambering.

He got there, famously, by sticking it all out there, not being afraid of what others thought. And Americans loved him for it. And then… almost out of the blue, he did something shocking. Today, we’ve all seen the famous picture that had some saying it was too much and a cry for attention, others calling it groundbreaking and impressive, and everyone wondering just how he’d managed to keep it hidden for so long. It forced unprepared parents all over the world to answer difficult questions from confused kids who had no idea such a procedure was even possible.

The Heel Strike called Caitlyn Jenner at home in Malibu, California. After some quick, friendly formalities, we get right to it:

HeelStrike: So, I’m staring at that famous photo of you that I sent along to your agent. Do you have it in front of you?

Caitlyn Jenner: (laughs) Yeah! It’s up on my wall! It was a proud moment for me!

HS: I bet! How long does that feeling of newness, of excitement about what you did – how long does that last? I mean, obviously this was a huge thing!

CJ: That feeling’s not gone yet!

HS: Really? I mean, at this point it’s been quite a while since you… can I say, showed yourself off?

CJ: (laughs) Sure, yeah you could use that term. But I still feel really proud of it. For me, of course, it was enormous, and yeah, I’m glad most everyone else thought so too. I mean, for so long I lived with knowing there was another part of me I couldn’t let out. Obviously, it was a very big part of who I was. Sometimes, you know, I would shove it so far down inside, it just…let’s just say it was time for me to stop being scared of it. What better way than to put it on display, as they say?

HS: I’ve been curious – did you also feel relief, you know, after you did it? I’m sure it was something you’d been thinking about a lot during the run up to it. Looked a lot at your penis in the mirror, I’m guessing. I mean, this was it, right? As a man, you had to have been questioning if this was the right choice?

CJ: Oh, definitely. You know, I weighed it a lot…And I knew that it would frighten a lot of people. But, I clearly had plenty of support, too.

HS: Do you think – and I don’t mean to offend you –

CJ: Shoot!

HS: Do you think… in this picture: could you agree you looked a bit… silly?

CJ: (laughs) I thought I looked good like that on the day, you know? What society thinks of as silly looking changes all the time, right? You know, after I did it, a lot of other people like me felt better about themselves. I hope. There’s a lot of us out there, actually, and, you know, I think I helped make it ok for others like me to not have to hide it anymore!

HS: You certainly received heaps of praise after this picture came out. Your name was getting mentioned more than ever before in magazines, on television. The nation’s attention was drawn to it. Given your history in broadcasting, movies, reality tv: a lot of men – myself included – suspect that just maybe you did this mostly for the attention.

CJ: Yeah? Ok, yeah, it’s true! I did it for the attention! What do want from me? I felt phenomenal, I wanted to show it off, and yeah, I knew it was something special. A really big thing! So yeah, I hiked up my shorts as far as they would go! Do I regret it? Nah, I’m not the type. Do I admit it looks a bit silly, in retrospect? I don’t know… Fashions got baggier and baggier, so I guess I’m glad I did it while it was still considered okay to run in those itty bitty 70s shorts.

Bruce Jenner hikin’ ‘em up in 1976

Bruce Jenner hikin’ ‘em up in 1976

HS: Well, I really appreciate your candor about this, Caitlyn. I think our readers will be really excited to be getting the inside scoop! I know you only had a couple minutes for this, so thank you so much for your time! Your agent tells us you have to go get a Brazilian? Guess you’re headed to the airport, then?
CJ: What? No, man, I’m getting a Brazilian. Like, literally on my hands and knees as we speak.

HS: Oh, okay, I get it. Hey, doesn’t that really hurt?

CJ: Uh, yeah. Why do think I’ve been grunting this whole time?

HS: Oh, well I kinda thought you were just clearing your throat, cuz of, like, my hard-hitting interviewing skills.

CJ: (laughs) Hard-hitting?! Interviewing sk- Are you joking with me right now?

HS: Um, I don’t-

CJ: I mean, you just asked me about my balls for three minutes. Interviewing skills? How long were you gonna take to get around to my sex-change?

HS: You had a sex-change?! What?! Does anyone know that yet? Hey, could The Heel Strike get an interview with you about that… Or, maybe you’re pretty private about the whole thing?

CJ: Another interview with you? Doubtful.

HS: Wait! So that’s why you said to call you Caitlyn?

CJ: This is a running magazine, right?

HS: Blog, actually. An online blog.

CJ: Oh, an online blog. As opposed to an oncircle blog, or an onbullet-point blog, huh?

HS: I mean, now you’re kinda being a j-

CJ: Listen, I’m not gonna give you an interview about my sex-change. But I’m gonna help you out, cuz you seem like a bit of a loser?

HS: Uh-huh.

CJ: Not a lot of friends, huh?

HS: Wow, how did you know?!

CJ: Not good enough to write for Runner’s World?

HS: That’s correct.

CJ: Still living in your mom’s apartment, don’t pay any rent, and you got no girlfriend…

HS: A couple lucky guesses- big deal…

CJ: Here’s what I’m gonna do for ya: Since this is an online running blog, and you could obviously use some inspiration, I’ll give you a few minutes next month to interview me about how I trained for the Olympic decathlon.

HS: What?! You were in the Olympics too?! That’s so cool! How’d you do?

CJ: That’s it. I’m done!

HS: Oh, okay… sorry, I… well thanks for your time, Br- uh, I mean, Caitlyn.

CJ: Oh, you’re so very welcome, Br-, uh, I mean Joe!(click)

The Heel Strike did not intend to offend the great runner and decathlete. We are afraid we may have, though, and we’re very sorry if we did, and we’re just gonna end this thing before it goes any further.

*No persons living or imaginary were actually interviewed for this interview.  All articles in The Heel Strike are strictly works of satire – you know, like The Onion, only funny.


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