The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Eileen Moskowitz-Palma, author of the middle grade series The Popularity Pact, out now.
Dear 14-year-old Eileen,
I bet you’re wondering why I’m writing a letter to you thirty years in the future. What could be so important that I would risk messing up the space time continuum we learned about in Back to the Future? Will I tell you who we’re going to marry? No, but I will say he’s a keeper. What about how many kids we will have? Not giving a number, but the answer will surprise us. The whole purpose of this letter is to advise you to stop telling yourself and anyone who will listen that we are not athletic.
I know exactly what you’re thinking right now. Out of all the important wisdom I could be imparting, this is what I choose? I know what else you’re thinking. . . we are NOT athletic. We’re terrible at anything that requires coordination, catching, throwing, or making a goal. We are ALWAYS the last person picked for P.E. Spoiler alert: That will keep happening until we graduate high school. We almost failed the Presidential Fitness Test every single year. Remember how our P.E. teacher let us retake the pull up section as many times as we needed to pass?
Even though we suck at volleyball because we have never once landed a serve over the net, soccer because we’re terrified of someone getting overly aggressive with defense, and softball because we duck in terror every time we see that ball coming at us, doesn’t mean we are terrible at ALL SPORTS.
Get ready for me to blow your mind. When we turn forty years old, we are going to win FIRST place in our age group in a New York City 5K race. That’s right, I said first place. Yes, we get to stand on the podium while someone puts a gold medal around our neck. When this happens, we are so shocked that we think there must be some mistake. We have never won first place in anything other than a writing contest. But, we will go on to win medals in two other races—another first medal at a local 5K, and second place at a challenging trail race that includes actual boulders we have to climb over, and huge logs we have to jump over. Did I mention that we also ran seven half marathons?
Eileen as a teenager