I love my kid’s swim team. I love the Olympics. I love the 4th of July.
And right now they all feel a little bit like the same thing.
What’s more Americana than elementary through high school age kids shoulder to shoulder cheering each other on despite age, gender, color, religion, ethnicity, or ability?
Seriously. There isn’t.
There is zero difference in the courage level between the Olympic swimmer and the 8 year old in regards to standing on that starting block waiting for the buzzer.
There is zero difference between the Olympian’s Mom and the 8 year old’s Mom once that buzzer goes off and you see your baby racing his butt off putting forth more determination, drive, and strength of spirit than even you knew he had.
And there is zero difference between the Olympic spectators and the local swim meet’s when you are screaming your lungs out as they are approach the finish and it’s so close it could be First, it could be Second.
My whole family is involved in our swim team. My two boys practice 5 days a week. My youngest competes. My husband and I volunteer countless hours. We are part of a swim community that in the end is a swim family.
There is nothing better than watching two 7 year olds from competing teams shake hands over the lane markers after a good race without any prompting from anyone. There is nothing more heart warming than how everyone cheers on the dead last swimmer and the pool erupts into a round of applause when they touch the wall. I think more of us can relate to the slowest swimmer than the fastest because the slowest one is most likely us, except that they dove in and we just watched.
I mean how amazing is that?
What else is amazing is that every swim meet starts with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and every single one of us stands there staring at that Flag. And I know without a doubt that most of the people standing there at that swim meet and most everywhere in our country–when the American Flag is raised and we stop and listen to our Anthem you think about all the sacrifices that have happened for our little pool–and so many like ours–to stand shoulder to shoulder–so that we can keep Swimming.