Friday, August 31, 2018

Sink or Swim?

Being brave isn't the absence of fear. Brave is what you are when you're looking fear in the face.
I posted some videos on my Facebook account last night of Abby swimming in her second high school swim meet, ever.
Let me tell you about the backstory of those videos.
Abigail has previously swam YMCA club swim.
And she loves it!
This year, upon entering high school she was interested in improving, swimming against tougher competition, and .... she was incredibly, almost overwhelming, nervous about it.
This fall, she and three other student swimmers have banded together and are trying to organize a girls swim team for their high school.
Which if you've ever tried to start something from the ground up is very, very difficult. Now imagine the resilience required for 4 high school students to tackle these waters. (See what I did there??)
There are walls, and red tape, and grown-ups and insurance issues and mindsets to overcome.
Am I right?
They've addressed the Board of Education soliciting support.
They've talked to admin to discuss options.
They've not been granted official team status yet
they organize their own practices and schedules.
They enter events as individuals but work as a team.
They've designed their own logos and proudly wear their gear to school.
They work hard. Swim hard.
They hold their head high.
I drove the girls on Tuesday to their first ever high school swim meet. The atmosphere on the car ride up was jovial. They sang and laughed and snapped (Snapchat). However, when we pulled into the parking lot of the school I heard Abby say, "How are we here already?". I looked in the mirror and her face was utter terror rubbing her palms on her thighs. It was clear she was having a very anxious moment.
The van got silent.
We parked and unloaded our gear.
The walk to the building was like a gauntlet.
Slowly they marched sneaking anxious peaks at one another.
One teammate stopped, leaned over, put her hand on her knees and began to breathe deeply.

You guys, I have never been more proud in my entire life.

These 4 students were arguable embarking on one of the most nervous encounters in their lives.
And yet they pressed on. They. Pressed. On!
They got in that pool.
And ... and they did awesome!
I don't mean like "The moment was awesome!" - although it totally was. I mean they literally entered their events and swam awesomely!
They did not get laughed out of the pool.
They held their own.
They took 4th in the 200 Yard Free Relay - in VARSITY (not bad for 3 freshmen and 1 senior)!
And my Abby had a personal best (30.58) in the 50 Free.
THAT's bravery.
Bravery isn't not being scared.
Bravery is forging ahead when you feel scared.
Bravery is being afraid to try but you trying anyway.
Bravery is holding your head up when your heart is racing and your palms are sweaty.
Bravery is public speaking.
Bravery is meeting new friends.
Bravery is pushing yourself to do better.
Sometimes bravery looks like diving into unfamiliar waters knowing there's a good chance you may sink ... or swim.
p.s. The success of these 4 gals is shared wholeheartedly with the other swimmoms & swimdads, the high school admin team and friends and loved ones who are lending their support everywhere we go! It really does take a village!

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