“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
Yesterday my daughter had her high school state swim meet. I looked around and saw familiar faces that have been like passing ships these last six years. Our girls have fought it out in the pool so many times it’s hard to imagine. They’ve taken turns being winners and slipping down the ranks to what can seem like defeat. The ebb and flow of life and competition is a steady wave. I believe you either find yourself learning to surf or you get knocked down over and over until finally you drown underneath the comparison. As a parent, I’ve let myself do a bit of both. As I looked around the pool, there was a sign that caught my eye. It said “Beat Yesterday”. All these years, I’ve been caught up in my daughter being the best, the top while I watched her settle someplace in the middle. She did not devote her life to sports. She chose a club where sports could be part of her life but not her entire life. She found that balance, her in between. She made me so proud last night. She held her own against kids who swim almost double the hours. And you know what? She did great. The best part though? Her times were great. She beat her yesterday. She might not have taken first place but she beat her times from the meet before. Sometimes the most important competition one can have is not against other people, it is against oneself. We are all so different and talented in our own unique way. We must strive to beat who we were yesterday and not compare ourselves to the person swimming next to us or in a nearby lane. We all peak at different times. We find success in our own distinct ways. Our goal is to always improve ourselves and be the best version of who we know we can be. So get out there today and swim finals little girl. Beat yesterday and when that buzzer goes off, dive in and bring it home. I will be there watching and silently cheering you on. My mind will probably drift back to when that block made you look so small and the pool seemed way too big. You’ve got this now and somehow you make that pool look small. No matter what you ever decide to do, I will be on the sidelines cheering you on. I will always be your biggest fan.