Validation vs Vindication.

Is the difference a fine line or a tight rope? Does it really matter?

Coming into time trials this summer, all three girls had something to prove. Our summer coach is also one of the coaches of our old club team – the team we did not return to at the end of last season. The girls had not been coached by her in 9 months and were a little nervous about how it was going to go. Grace more so than the others as her club group practices year round and she would be coached by one and competing for both.

Their worst fear was that they would tank at time trials which would lead to the inevitable “I told you so” moment. My advice to them? Prove yourself.

They all three swam really well at time trials. A lot of improvement has been made in a year. Not because we changed teams necessarily but because the girls worked hard.

At time trials the expected compliments were not dolled out by coaches. Accolades were not given. In all fairness this was true of all swimmers.

On the other hand, dad and I could not have been more proud of the girls. They swam well and behaved themselves with the utmost of sportsmanship. This was not the case with all swimmers.

Grace really went into this wanting some vindication. She wanted to be acknowledged for her hard work and effort. It didn’t happen. What she got was far greater though. She left with the validation that the time, sweat and tears she has put into the pool in the last 9 months was for her. Something no one can ever take away. And something I couldn’t give to her.

Sometimes in life we get lucky. The FU moment we so desperately want doesn’t come. And we leave with something far greater. A sense of pride and ownership in our own accomplishments.

This is going to be a great summer for us. This summer is ours. We don’t have to be the best. Or the most loved. We just have to be happy

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