And I’m feeling quite proud!
What it Means to a Chase Dream
Earlier this week, I started re-reading one of my favorite books—Gold in the Water by P.H. Mullen—and within no time, pen hit the pages as I starred excerpts and lines.
In the introduction—the book chronicling the journey of a group of California-based swimmers during the two years leading to the 2000 Summer Olympic Games—Mullen says this of the “legions of swimmers [from] all over the world [who] stop their lives to train for the opportunity to represent their country in the Olympiad:”
Their passionate quest is the greatest singular goal in individual sports. It is a hard and solitary journey. But it is also noble. It is noble because one of the most important things to do in life is at least once chase a dream with every ounce of power and conviction we can muster.
Those lines can serve as the impetus for many different considerations and conclusions about life, sport, and the honest pursuit of deep-rooted dreams. In the context of my mindstate while I read, those lines made me think of how utterly and remarkably hard it is to pour “every ounce of power and conviction” into chasing a dream.
Think about that.
Every ounce leaves you open and vulnerable to the fact you might fail. It leaves you open to heartbreak. And open to heartache.
Every ounce also requires a fundamental, deep-seated, and sometimes blind belief in your ability to succeed.
It requires faith.
Because of all that, the chase is an admirable one—admirable, and noble, and hard.
There’s another quote I made note of recently, this one from Pema Chodron’s Taking the Leap. She writes:
Deep down in the human spirit there is a reservoir of courage. It is always available, always waiting to be discovered.
I’ve been thinking about courage a lot recently. Which should come as no surprise considering that during the past five months, I’ve witnessed many of my friends, peers, and past and current teammates either realize their Olympic dream or “fail.”
My heart has ached, quite literally, for those who, at various times and in various ways experienced their respective roads to Tokyo end early.
I know what it’s like when that road ends.
And I intimately know the brand of courage it takes to get back on your feet and rise.
Beyond the Race Day Report
Last weekend, at the Schuylkill Navy Regatta in Philadelphia, Sophia and I raced for the first time together. We won! And as I said at the onset, I am feeling quite proud. We executed well, remained focused and calm, and backed each other up on the racecourse. It’s always a high to end a race with a win. Though my sense of fulfillment runs deeper.
Sophia and I took a chance on each other after an unexpected pairing in the double last fall. And I’m proud of what we’ve put into our boat (so far!):
Of how we’ve cultivated partnership and built trust.
Taken ownership of our path, and navigated changes in training locations, training groups and coaching support.
Of how we’ve remained committed to our vision, and focused on all the big and small steps we’ve needed to take to succeed.
And of how we’ve shown up for each other from the start—with a willingness to learn, listen, understand, push boundaries, give grace, and have fun.
The regatta was a small test and check point—an opportunity to move forward and step toward the goal.
The win—a reward for hard work.
The sense of pride that I feel—the result of all that’s beneath the surface.
Cheers, my good friends!
Sending warm wishes!
Let’s get it in 2021!
A Few Favorite Pics
Sophia surprised the heck out of me this past winter with her video editing skills. She put this together when we applied for a sponsorship with Picky Bars. I wanted to share!