Courtesy: Donna Hale
You have been on this journey with me as your sidekick for 15 years. You’ve made me laugh, cry, lose my voice, and fall in love with something I once knew nothing about. Because of you, I am a swim mom. Leaving conference champs after you had to scratch the last day due to illness, I realized I’ve never thanked you for all you have taught me about resilience, character, and winning with grace and losing with dignity. The lessons could become a book I may one day write, but for now here are the highlights.
1. You’ve shown me how to be a warrior against the things that sometime derail us in life. You’ve dealt with chronic illness, injury, team drama, and more. Yet through it all you never give up, turning obstacles into opportunities. What an amazing way to live your life.
2. Smiling can get you through anything. You’ve taught me this. Even when you feel like you can’t move ahead, you surge forward. When your body is tired and exhausted you turn to your heart like this weekend. Your heart propels you through everything – even a 200 fly while running a fever. Your can do attitude is contagious.
3. Thanks to you I know that life is about living your passions – whatever they are. I cannot wait to watch you take your next steps in your career and raising a family. I’ve seen you embrace the life lessons of swimming throughout our journey. Maybe I’ve learned a thing or two about what matters most.
4. Because of you I know that strong is beautiful. You take care of your body, and you feed your spiritual soul. I wish I had done more of this. But you remind me that it’s never too late. Carry those broad shoulders with pride. You earned them over nearly your entire lifetime.
5. Through your swimming, you introduced me to a world of amazing people that have become my friends. Swimming creates community and family in our fast-paced world. I’ve met people that I can turn to for a shoulder or advice. And they are there for you too as the world churns and turns. All the travel meets, summer swim fun, and now NCAA swimming have taught me what matters most is the people along for the journey.
6. Most of all my swimmer girl you have shown me how to love with all your heart, give each day everything you have, and rejoice in fleeting moments. How often as we get older do we settle, give up or let people suck us of joy and memory making? You’ve shown me how much the moments matter.
Thank you my sweet swimmer girl.
Donna Hale has been a swim mom for 15 years. Her daughter Is sophomore in NCAA