I am in constant awe of my children. For any of you who have interaction with children, you know what I mean. The ability children have to persist, despite who they irritate. The ability to tune out the “No’s” and turn them into “Why’s” in a split second. For the most part, children don’t care who they tick off, wear down, or exhaust. What they are focusing on at the moment is, “What do I need to get ____?” So they practice, they refocus, or they change strategies so they can reach their carrot.
My 8 year old is on the town swim team this summer. It is the one sport she can do well. She’s not into running around and sweating. So soccer, track, softball are all out. She can swim to her heart’s content, work hard, and still feel cool. Gotta love it.
8 year old is not the fastest swimmer, but she is sure dedicated. I never have to wake her up or force her to get ready. After breakfast, we head over to the town’s outdoor pool. She has a 20 minute swim class to work on her swim strokes, then she has an hour and a half swim practice. Later on in the afternoon, we’ll head back into the pool so the kids can cool off, and 8 year old automatically heads over to the swimming lanes and starts her laps. Even if she sees her friends at the pool. She will always wave and play for a little while, but she ends up going back to her laps.
This is when I am in awe. See, I wasn’t even into the sports thing at this age. I kept thinking the kids are too young to get into a competitive sport. But then after talking to some friends a couple years ago, they told me that it was important to get girls into sports early. It helps them with their confidence, their body image, and gives them a respect for fitness. Plus, it keeps them out of trouble as they get older. Hmmm. So I figured why not.
This past winter, I signed her up in the winter swim team. She was thrilled when she earned a bunch of ribbons for the heats she swam in. Most of the ribbons were just for showing up, but there were three she received for third place in the team swim relays.
The first swim meet of the summer season was last week. I saw 8 year old looking at her ribbons before her swim meet and just focusing. Before she left for the meet, she looked at me and told me she was going to win. I smiled and encouraged her, but I have to say, in the back of my mind, I was a bit nervous about this since she isn’t the fastest. There are kids out there with long, lean swimmer’s bodies. My child is not that. But she is persistent and determined. And I have learned to never underestimate these characteristics.
Which I am so glad of…you see, my daughter won her heat! She might not have been the fastest, but, she was focused, she practiced, and she saw herself winning. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Embrace your talents. Embrace your dreams. Focus. Visualize. And never, ever give up. The people who continue to follow their dreams, no matter what, are going to get there. So what are you waiting for? Go on. Be persistent.