Last chance

Last chance meet of the high school season. His last high school season. His last chance to qualify for the race that’s eluded him up to now: the IM. 2 minutes, 12 seconds and 25 hundredths of a second. He need 2 minutes and 12 seconds to swim all 4 strokes to qualify. Can he? This season has been corrupt with slow times, issues and distractions. He’s managed to pull out of most of it but now, today, the beast looms. The one he wants. The one he’s worked for. The one that’s so close yet he’s never been able to grasp. 
Today it’s in the line. 
After today it’s only the area championship (which doesn’t count toward state times) and the grand daddy—GHSA state. That’s end. That ends his high school swim career. How will it end–with a bang or a whimper? He’s got a ticket to state for other races but the IM…the IM…that’s the one he WANTS. That’s the one I want for him. 
His body’s done the work. He’s put in the time. He has dreamt of it. Now it comes down to heart. That’s what what will get him there…pure will and heart and WANT. He’s won races before on pure heart. Can he do it again?
I haven’t let myself think too much about the end. But it’s starting to materialize–this is it for him. This is his last year as a Titan. Last year on a swim team? I don’t know. 
My last year as a swim mom? I don’t know that either. My beautiful, dedicated and hard working daughter has proven to be swimmer of her own rite. She’s gotten faster with each meet. She’s gaining confidence. She can hold her own as a Titan tide member. But will she? That’s up for her to decide. I am trying not to sway her although I’d like to. 

So different my 2. He glides she powers thru. He flies like it’s a choreographed ballet. She defeats the water by battling her way thru. Both styles impress me. Both of them swim with all they have. Both have hearts of champions. Both have my heart. 

That same heart is beating a little faster today for both of them. He for his last chance at a state time. She because she has a chance to swim a b relay and finish second in her heat. She’s seeded last but in the fastest heat for a 200. She’s as nervous for that as he is for the IM. As their mom I carry those nerves along with my own.

It’s not about the time. It’s about the life lesson. It’s about proving that hard work and dedication matter. It’s is about having a goal and getting there. It’s about believing in something that sometimes seems impossible. It’s about having an anchor to keep you grounded and seeing evidence that the sacrifices it takes to keep that anchor holding strong are worth it. It’s about doing your best and then giving a little more. It’s about pride. That’s what this race represents. The state cut is tangible. The rest of it isn’t but it’s those things that matter most. 
Swim hard-swim fast babies. Swim with all your heart…last chance. 

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