With Valentines Day this week love was in the air. I learned that love is not just a thought, feeling, or emotion but an action and a refusal to give up. This action I saw first hand during my Mom's swim practice on Wednesday. Despite being a naturally athletic swimming has not been something my Mom is a natural at. In fairness, she naturally gravitated to practicing the sports that she seemed to be a natural at, like cycling. Enter into the womb and world Annika Ruth and cycling became a bit more of a challenge. Rather than mourning the loss of bike miles my Mom chose to embrace a whole lot of swimming. When my Mom was given the opportunity to bring me to swim practice this year she decided to make the most of it. Not just by attending but by really, really, really, trying to improve. She took a private lesson with Coach Sickie. She was hoping for an instant fix but it didn't happen. It was painful. Change in general is hard. Changing a swimming stroke is really hard. Envision a golfer throwing his or her club. She said to my Dad and her swimmer friends post lesson. "I really don't get it. I'll continue to swim because I think it's good for the body like yoga but I just don't get it" Apparently you don't have to get it to keep trying. So she kept swimming, refusing to give up. She resisted the urge to use aids like her beloved pull buoy which masks the errors of her stroke and allows her to swim much faster with less effort. Slowly things started to click a little. A few aha moments equalling a few faster splits and she felt a glimmer of hope. The motivation grows. Swim faster, try harder, try harder, swim faster. When Wednesday's test set rolled around my Mom had the confidence to risk failure and try her hardest.
She used to not try that hard on test set day because if you try hard and you stink than you have to face that you stink so if you know you didn't try that hard ... :) She announced "Today is the day I am going to attempt to go sub 1:30." She also announced that if she was able to go sub 1:30 the sky would likely turn black with thunder and rain to follow. The strangest thing happened she broke 1:30 and swam 1:24. Shortly after the sky turned black and it started to storm. Rumor has it if she swims sub 1:20 Hell will freeze over.