Well, if I'm going to blog, I better be more consistent about it! A few days away at my parents' and I've fallen behind. And with vacation looming next week, I'm making a promise to myself to NOT drop the ball!
|Picture of heartbreak: The girl on the left won--and gets to go to the Olympics. (Source: AP)|
Anyway, speaking of parents, I recently read this column by Scott Lucas, a writer in Charlotte and the father of elite runner Julia Lucas. For those of you non-track geeks out there, Julia failed to make the Olympic team in the 5,000 meters in the most painful way possible—by being outleaned at the finish line after leading for much of the latter part of the race. The difference between her booking her ticket to London and staying home and watching the Games from her couch at home came down to a miniscule 4/100ths of a second. Heartbreaking? Yes, at least for Julia. But for the girl who got her at the line—Kim Conley—it was a dazzling display of pure guts. She made up an enormous gap in the final 200 meters of the race and ran Julia down with an explosive sprint—something no human being should be capable of at the end of a 15-minute-plus race.
To go through that anguish as an athlete must be completely gut-wrenching. But what about enduring it as that athlete's parents? Scott Lucas offers this unique perspective in his column. The pride he describes for his daughter, regardless of the results, is touching. And it highlights an issue that all parents wrestle with on various levels. It's cliché to say, but as a mom or dad, you truly do want nothing but the best for your children. And when that doesn't happen? Your heart may break along with theirs, but at the same time you have to be there to help hold their chin up and realize that life goes on. To do otherwise only gives off the impression that that they've failed you some how. Because we all know that feeling, when we have a bad result--in a race or otherwise in life--when we feel like we've let everyone down. Through his words about his own daughter, Lucas offers a reminder, that as a mom or dad, as much as you want to cry along with your kid or kiss the hurt away, there's a point that you just have to step back and let her "bear her own burdens." Because, in the end, I guess we all rebound from loss, whether huge or tiny, in our own ways and our own time.