Monday, July 21, 2014

One of many races

This paragraph was written on Saturday, but I decided not to publish it until today.

My daughter's love for the sport of swimming has
always been evident from her smile!
The moment of focus before a race. (photo August 2011)
In just a few hours, my daughter will swim a mile.  She is trying to break a record  - one she has been chasing for a while.  Last year it was nearly within her grasp.  After a year of vigorous training and successful swims at the Division 1 college level, she is faster and stronger.  Unfortunately, her other swims at this meet -  for whatever reason - have not reflected those improvements.  She fears the record-breaking swim she knows she is capable of may not happen.

Last night, I realized it really doesn't matter.  No matter how fast she swims this race, she has already achieved the prize. Every coach she has ever had, every athlete she has ever swum with or against, every person she has ever taught a swim lesson, and all of the families we have known through swimming over the past 13 years are a part of this, and every race.

I have so many treasured memories of times she has been cheered by swimmers, spectators and coaches. The friends we have made, and the life lessons she has learned through this sport are the real prize. A record-breaking swim would just be an extra sugar-rose on an already heavily-iced cake.

There is still a good chance she will break that record.  But no matter the outcome of the race, she is already a champion. I could not be more proud of her than I already am.


A fast time on a stop-watch is something to smile about, but the victory of sports is measured in many ways.
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The race was swum and the record remains unbroken - but so does my daughter's spirit.  She knows there will be more races and more opportunities in her future - and that some will work out and some will not.  Sometimes life is about the journey, not the finish.


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12 comments :

  1. What a wonderful post Susan! Your daughter IS a champion, no matter what! This is a great reminder for all parents who have kids that excel at sports, because sometimes we get caught up in the outcome too - and you're so right, it's about the journey, not the destination. I'm sure your daughter will break that record soon!

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    1. It was hard to see her have an “off week” when she has trained so hard and been swimming so well. But, I was very proud of how she handled her disappointment. Any kid who has goals, and tries at something (sports, school, hobbies, whatever) is a winner as far as I am concerned :)

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  2. Congratulations to your daughter for a stellar swimming performance through the years.
    And yes absolutely it is journey...thank you for posting such a positive, silver-lining approach to obtaining a dream or reaching a goal. It gives me a wonderful new perspective and an ability to guide my daughter through her journey. :)

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    1. Thanks Marisa. I am your you will be a wonderful guide for your daughter as she grows up!

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  3. Wow, her smile back then and now. You can see the love and the unbroken spirit.
    You're so right about how much factors into these journeys - every race, coach, teammate, etc. YOU!

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    1. Thanks Tamara. The top photo was taken during a race by a photographer who had offered to photograph kids during a meet. We still tease my daughter about how smiled at the camera with every butterfly stroke she took!

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  4. What a wonderful, magical, incredible smile...

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  5. hats off to your daughter for attempting such a feat....

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  6. It's great, at that age, when they find something they enjoy and are passionate about. I was just catching up on your blog and really enjoyed the energy and excitement as well as life lesson reminder from this post. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Angela. I am glad that you enjoy my blog. Yours was one of the first I found when I started blogging, and I found it very encouraging!

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!