When I introduced you to Gabriel, I had mentioned that I was proud of his commitment despite his lack of natural ability in wrestling. He didn't have the competitive-ness/aggression that you really need to have in spades to excel. This summer, he has pushed himself so hard in swimming practice. Then will sit all relaxed in the "bull pen" waiting for his races like he is waiting for his turn at the concession stand. This is not my personality. When I waited for stuff like this, I was so tense that I was just shy of sick. I find myself wondering how he does it. COULD he do better if he got himself psyched up? Or does he just know that if he does his best, there is really nothing stressing will change? I wish I knew what was in his head!
All this said, he is having a really good year in swimming. Unfortunately, so are quite a few other kids. There are kids in other swim teams that are posting times that make you wonder if they has 'roids in their pixie sticks! The times are half what many of our kids are posting, Gabriel included. His backstroke is still pretty strong, but he'll have to push himself to fight for 10th, he really has no chance at contention higher than that. This situation caused our coach to reconsider going to the District Meet, and scratching State. Maybe "throwing" their own meet in place of.
This caused me pause. I don't like my kid to fail and feel badly. It is one thing to lose slapping at someone's feet, but it is another to be LAPPED. But don't we have a RIGHT to lose? Today's society is trying to take the competitions away because we don't want them to lose and feel badly about themselves. But don't you need these emotions to drive you and test your mettle? Don't you need to fail to pick yourself, brush off, and get back up? Perseverance needs practice so you can do it when it matters, doesn't it?
I find it odd that society pushes our kids into being adults in language, sensuality, dressing, and things seen in movies, shows, and experiences. BUT we refuse to let them try and fail...we would rather give them an inflated sense of self...so they are shocked when they get out in the real world and aren't the amazing prodigies that they thought they were...
So, soapbox aside, I was proud of Gabriel this week. I told him what the coaches were contemplating...so he would know why and to see what his reaction was. He said, "But WHY?" He "promised" that he "would work his butt off in practice" and do anything I said, if I would "let" him go the district/state. I reiterated that he would not probably have any chance placing at state. He said he wanted to go anyway, that is what he was swimming for all summer...So, I am proud of his perseverance...I am proud of him wanting to "stay the course" and finish what he had started.
Anyone can start something, but character is shown by who finishes, despite everything. I was thankful for the glimpse of Gabriel's character.