Saturday Spotlight- Mikey Allen

Mikey Allen
Age: 40
Hometown: Brentwood, NY
Current town: Patchogue, NY
Wife: Jaime Allen
Kid: Ruby (3yrs)
Work: Local 200 Plumber

I was a dorky kid. My sister, Julie (two yrs older than me), used to make me play school every day when she got home. She’d teach me what she learned that day, and she was a damned effective teacher. When my time came around, Brentwood North Elementary and my folks thought it would be a good idea to let me complete the first grade in two weeks and then scoot down the hall a bit to second grade. Red-haired & freckled & short & dorky & my parents dressed me funny & I’m two weeks late & I’m a year younger than everybody else. Oh, it’s gonna be all blue skies and rainbows for young Mikey! Honestly, it could have been worse. My saving grace: I was fast! I was a target for bullies, but the same kids who picked on me also picked me to be on their teams wherever speed was required. In sixth grade I started attending St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Smithtown. These privileged private school kids were world class bullies, but they were sooo slow! I made quick friends with another dork named Pete, and he and I made up and spread a story about me having bionic legs. Story was I got hit by a garbage truck and lost the use of my legs, which were replaced by experimental robotics! The kids believed I was a cyborg for a little over two years, until the first one of them to go through puberty finally beat me in a 100 yard dash. Then I had to be all, ” Uggh, no, I do not have bionic legs, you frigging morons!” It was fun while it lasted (damn you, Chad.)

I wanted to be a hurdler. The summer before my freshman year at St Anthony’s High School, I was “training” in the backyard by stacking benches and my kid sister’s toys, and jumping over them. I remember the pain of my last pass: kicking out my lead (right) leg as I jumped and feeling the right knee lock with the leg fully extended. Crash! I gimped into the house and asked to be taken to the hospital. Osgood-Schlatter’s disease kept me on the sidelines (and crutches) for my entire freshman year. It wound up in both knees, striking the left just as the right was through recovering. I never did try hurdles. Sophomore year I ran XC and I hated it. I had no stamina and seemed incapable of building any. It was so cold outside! I couldn’t breathe! My uniform shorts were so short! And Cardiac Hill?? Get out of my life!! That XC season could not have ended soon enough. Looking for something entirely different, I decided to have a go at the pole vault, and I was immediately in love. I enjoyed a lot of successes due to a terrific coach and a bunch of good jumpers on the squad, the core of which I still consider amongst my best friends. After graduation, I went to Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx, and became their first ever vaulter. That didn’t last very long. The school had no facilities or equipment or coach for me, but those weren’t what stopped me. I taught the field events coach what I needed him to do for me, we built a box in the long jump pit, and even pulled off a middle of the night pole vault mat heist from a well, nevermind. But I still couldn’t make it work, because BEER. You guys, I broke up with track & field for beer!