It all comes down to this

It’s 9:45 and I am in Tifton, Ga….willingly. It’s the night before the GPRA CHAMPIONSHIP SWIM MEET. I have 2 swimmers competing tomorrow. 2.

I have to confess I got a little choked up tonight when we arrived at the pool for the evening practice. Colton was sleek and lean and moved through the water with the grace of a panther. He is small and lean on the block but then explodes into the pool. He was pummeling toward me doing the butterfly. His face full of determination, his arms straight, his fingers pointed. His strength propelled his torso out of the water until his shoulders rotated him back into the water. Amazing. And my eyes teared because the pride I felt just couldn’t be contained.

My daughter was on the block practicing her streamline. She was muscular and shapely and was intent-as only Kinsley can be-on the mechanics of her dive. She too amazed me. She attacked swimming like she attacks life-hard and strong and not satisfied until she knows as much as she can. My girl.

These are my babies. Mine. I am, and will always be, amazed at what they have accomplished. The hours of practice. The desire to do more, to push harder and to win. They have that. They have heart. Athletes hearts. That didn’t come from me. That’s all their own.

Tonight I got choked up because this is all theirs. They worked to get here. And they made it. It amazes me and humbles me to know how hard they work. Dip your head here-arms like this-kick from here…swimming is a thousand muscles working in concert. It’s a well choreographed dance in the water. You never quit learning how to do it better. You never say you’ve practiced enough. Not with swimming.

I’ve seen my son do incredible things in the pool. I’ve heard compliments on his heart and I’ve witnessed him emerge victorious at the end of more then one race. I’ve watched my daughter take on a sport that has no sympathy for the weak of heart. And they do all of this on their own. And they succeed.

As moms we want them to go. We teach them and love them as much as we can knowing that one day they will find their own way toward a destination they choose. We want them to be strong and independent. We relish seeing who they will become.

Tomorrow I’ll get a glimpse of who they are-who they will be. Win or lose I’ll see them, independently, take to the blocks. For 1:42:47 I’ll see them be the absolute best they can be. I am just there to watch-to cheer. That’s all I can do. The rest of it they’ve done and will do on their own. I’ll watch them conquer nerves, fight foes and hopefully, celebrate victories.

I won’t need medals to feel like we’ve won. We are here. We’ve already won. At least I have. I’ve won 2 amazing, determined children who have the heart they will need to conquer this world. Swim hard, swim fast babies. I’ll be watching and those tears you see will be tears if pride-with a little sadness thrown on because tomorrow I’ll watch you take one more step to being the adults you are going to be.

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