Wednesday, May 30, 2012
How do you teach your kids about the value of working hard, of commitment, of setting a goal and working toward it, even if it’s a struggle? Even if it hurts? Even if no one thinks you can? Well, I got a couple of answers to those questions this weekend. You see, I volunteer for the Kids of Steel and the Try-a-Tri races that the Whistler Triathlon Club has put on for the last eight years. And for the last eight years, I have seen people set goals, work hard, and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. Sometimes, I admit, I get a little jaded. I forget, that for some of the people on the course, just getting on the course is a big accomplishment. I have done Ironman. Twice. And, because I have done it, I think that anybody can. I really believe that. But what I forget sometimes, is how hard and how scary it is at that first race. How much courage it takes to try. What seems like a really short distance to me now was daunting when I first got into the sport. Twenty years ago. But, maybe because this is the first year in the eight that I wasn’t either the race director or one of the main organizers, I had a chance to appreciate what was going on around me. And what I saw was inspiring. I saw kids facing their fears and overcoming them, or in one case, with the little girl who was afraid of going under the lane rope in the pool, under-ing! I saw adults who had crossed the finish line in tears, conquering what for them had seemed unconquerable. But probably, the most inspiring, was the adult relay team from Whistler Adaptive Sports. They may not have seen the task as unconquerable, but for friends and family, the relay team taking part in the triathlon was close to an impossible dream coming true. When the two teams received their finisher medals, the excitement of the team members was, to … copy a phrase, palpable. They had never won anything before. There were tears in more than just their parents eyes that day.
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