If I had to measure my success in seconds how would I rank? I thought about this all last night as I celebrated with my big boy and girl over their wins at the district swim meet. Their successes measured in less then 2 minutes.
We got home last night after 11pm yet here we are, at 7:30am, back at the pool. They’ve started their day with an easy stretch-a 400. Before it’s over they will swim close to a mile. And they do it morning after morning after morning. Now they have been given kickboards for a 400 kick session. Again-to warm up. The workout hasn’t even started yet.
Hours and hours they work. And their hard work is measured in less then 2 minutes. It boggles my mind.
1:01:99. That’s how my son measured his success. 1 minute. 1 second and 99 one hundredths. It was a personal best for him. 1:03 has been his plateau for so long. He’s trained and trained and trained some more and, until last night, he couldn’t break that 1:03 barrier. But he kept training. Kept working. Kept pushing. And it paid off. Last night he swam the 100 IM in his own record time. His success measured in less then 1:02:00.
This morning on the way to swimming he announced,”…under a minute…that’s my goal for state…” So today it begins again. Hours and hours and laps and laps to measure his success in under a minute. 4 laps, 4 strokes in less then 60 seconds. What could I do in under 1 minute that I could equate to being successful?
My girl isn’t a year round swimmer. She is a summer swimmer but here she is-matching my dude lap for lap. Her arms are so tired she can barely lift her arms to put her thick hair in a pony tail she’s so exhausted. But she’s doing it. Swimming is the only sport where breathing is frowned upon. Her morning was spent trying to shorten her lap count while NOT breathing. Lofty goal. Here she is on her 50th lap being asked to NOT breathe. And she’s trying. Her success–1:23:00. She started the season at 1:26:29 so touching the wall at 1:23 equaled success for her. 1:23 and and exhibition swimmer means she gets her name on the state shirt. Also a measurement of success for a 12year old :).
Sports for us aren’t about trophies or medals or ribbons. It’s about meeting those role models who jump out of their chairs to be there when you get out of the pool after touching the wall in 6th place. Not to admonish you for not placing in state team contention but to congratulate you on taking a second off your time. That’s what happened to my daughter last night. She didn’t make the cut in one of her races. But her coach helped her find success in her loss.
Sports, for us, are about my boy not dropping time for a year only to meet his goal last night and immediately make a new one this morning. He’s measuring his own success. Not by a medal-though he will earn one-but by a clock. He’s pushing himself to do more-to do better-to keep trying. And he will measure his success in under a minute.
We are an hour into practice and the coaches just announced that practice was about to get hard. Admidst moans from the swimmers I heard “…dropping intervals….”and “….50’s….” Admittedly I don’t understand what the drill is but I know enough to know that the groans coming from the pool mean it’s very, very hard. Looks like practice will exceed 100 laps today. 90 minutes and 100+ laps for an event that will last less then 1:01:99 and 1:23:00.
There is nothing I do in less then 1 and a 1/2 minutes that equates to success. How I admire these hardworking athletes of mine who spend so much time and energy making sure that they can measure success in under 1:00 and 1:24.