Would You Read My Book?
In 1983, on my twenty-second birthday, I was diagnosed with what would become known as AIDS.
I thought I had glandular fever or a flu that kept coming back. But when a friend who had similar symptoms died very quickly, I had my T-cells checked. T-cells are a type of white blood cells that are essential for a healthy immune system. My T-cell count was 364.
I had just set the windsurfing world speed record in 1983, breaking the 30-knot barrier in Weymouth, England, but that’s not how I made my name in the sport. My fame came on a day when I was surfing alone, thanks to an eccentric and very wealthy fellow windsurfer and cover photographer for such magazines as Vogue and Life, who showed up to watch me after everyone else had left the beach for the day.
About ten years ago, I began to notice a sense of incompleteness, a tightness in the pit of my stomach, a longing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It started off as a small nagging feeling that would come around only now and then. Eventually, it turned into an anxiety that wouldn’t let me sleep. No matter how hard I tried or how high I climbed, it was never high enough; I could never be enough.
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