Two Teens And Their Mama: 3/10 Of A Second

Thursday, February 19, 2015

3/10 Of A Second


We don't always get what we want, no matter how hard we might work for it. That's life.

Sometimes we miss the thing we're striving for by a lot.  And sometimes it's only by 3/10 of a second.

My son T learned that lesson this weekend at his district swim meet.  His 200 medley relay team took fifth place, losing to the fourth place team by 3/10 of a second.  It was so close we couldn't tell who got there first until we looked at the scoreboard.

Fifth place in a district our size is a great accomplishment, no doubt about that. But the first through fourth place teams are headed to the State meet this weekend.  T missed swimming at State by 3/10 of a second.

I don't know if being that close makes it better, or worse.


Now let's add insult to injury.  The other relay team for his school, the 4 x 100, took third place at district's and is swimming this weekend at State. T's coach replaced him on that relay two weeks ago, because she wanted him to focus on his backstroke in the 200 medley.  So T will be going to the State meet - as an alternate.  Unless one of his teammates gets sick or hurt, he'll be watching from the sidelines.

Ever since cross country ended, T has been swimming three hours a day, six days a week.  He practiced throughout winter break, and gained 25 pounds of muscle.  It will be another month until he stops smelling like chlorine.  

In the end, his goal eluded him by 3/10 of a second.  As a parent, it was heartbreaking to watch, and I may have shed a tear as I saw him realize how close he had come.

But here's the great thing about this kid.  He's so much more resilient than his mama.  He was disappointed, and maybe even a little angry.  He sat by himself in the stands for awhile, thinking about the race and how he could have gone a little faster.  We left him alone.

Thirty minutes later he was back down at the pool, cheering loudly for the 4 x 100 team, and jumping for joy when they got third place.  To be honest, his father and I were still brooding.  But T's resilient - and awesome.

As a parent, it's hard to watch your child work so hard for something and fall just short.  We teach our kids that they can do anything they want if they put in the hard work and do their best.  But sometimes it's just not enough.  It's that "life" thing again.


However, this kid isn't going to let it get him down.  He's already looking forward to next year, and even if he never competes at the State level, he's happy for the experiences he's had.  He's ready for track season to start, where he'll drop those 25 pounds of muscle and become a long distance running machine.  Sure he's disappointed, but to heck with 3/10 of a second - he'll get it next year.

And once again, as has happened so often on my journey through parenthood, the student becomes the teacher, and I learn more about being a better person from my children.  You don't always get what you want - but sometimes, you get a whole lot more.

24 comments:

  1. Lana, I have to stop reading your blog on the bus... I teared up with this one and I'm sure the other people wondered what is up with me :-)

    I love how resilient your son is... he probably learned that from you and your hubby... we take losses better for ourselves than we do for our children.

    I'm sure he'll do amazing in track and in swimming next year ♡

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    1. I'm sorry - I didn't mean to make you cry!

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  2. what a good sport he is!!! Amazing these kids we have!!
    3/10 of a second though?! seriously!!!! ugh

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    1. I know, right. A minute would have probably been better.

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  3. I think sometimes its harder on us than it is on the kids! I know I am more nervous before my daughter races than she is. She always surprises me after a race that didn't go the way she wanted by finding something good in it. Everything is a learning experience and you are right, we learn so much from our kids too!

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    1. I get SO nervous when my kids compete. Luckily swim races are over quickly - cross country lasts forever!

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  4. I love your attitude. I'll be texting you, i'm sure, in ten years when Willis goes through this... I hope I can be just like you.

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    1. Awww...thanks. You are an amazing mom, with amazing kids.

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  5. Wow, that is crazy! I think as a parent I would have been so disappointed too, our kids teach us the best things. Your kids are so active! I remember as a kid going to all of my sisters swim meets and being bored out of my mind...you know the whole waiting all day for 5 minutes of race time, and of course her events were first and last of the day, lol!

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    1. Swim meets take forever - but at least they're inside!

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  6. This is was such a sadly, sweet piece Lana. I know you are all disappointed, but you must be so very proud of him as well. I'm sure he will outrun them all. Glad to see your headache gone and you back at your post!

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    1. Thanks Rena. We are so proud of him!

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  7. Whew, that would be tough. You have an awesome son to not let it get him down.

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  8. My heart went out to you as I read this Lana. I have been in the same mindset so many times. Swimming can be a cruel sport. My daughter once missed a qualifying time for a big meet by a tenth of a second - in the mile. Good for T for not letting it get him down -- I have always said that as painful as disappointments can be, out children probably learn more from them than the wins. And yes - we do ! He is in terrific shape for track!

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    1. I knew you'd be able to relate Susan! Wow, a tenth of a second - that must have been a hard one. He went to State as an alternate this weekend, and said it was a great experience! Hopefully next year he'll be swimming there.

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  9. What a great life lesson he is learning. Handling defeat and moving on and encouraging others, he is wonderful! It truly will make his life as an adult better.

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    1. I told him he needs to have some disappointments to make his life story more interesting!

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  10. Aw! I love that he's already looking into the future. I take hits very badly. It's very bad for my self-esteem. Obviously he knows he rocks!

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    1. Self esteem has never been a problem of his - which I guess is a good thing? You rock too - don't every forget that!

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  11. That is heartbreaking! So often I think I feel more disappointment over something than my kids do. Your son sounds like a great guy!

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    1. Thanks Marie - he's a pretty great kid. I think I was definitely more disappointed than he was!

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  12. Oh this is such a hard lesson to learn as a parent. I've been there as well. My son took 4th in the finals of 50 metre breast way back when he was 8. He went in in 2nd. My heart ached for him. I overheard a father of another swimmer telling other parents "he just didn't want it hard enough." No five minutes later my son skipped over beaming and said "I got a best time Mom." Bless him. I've never forgotten that lesson he taught me - and that dad - over the intervening 11 years.

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    1. I think we parent take these disappointments so much harder than our kids do! Your son sounds like a wonderful, positive young man!

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