It just isn’t fair

Life, politics, swimming, you name it.

Grace has a very good friend who swims at our club.  She swims in the practice group that is one step below where Grace swims.  Grace’s group is by invitation only.  Her friend was asked to move into the group and very politely declined.  She is a very talented musician and wasn’t willing to make the commitment to the five required practices per week.  Grace was disappointed, they are very good friends.

This past weekend Grace tanked her 200 free.  I knew it was going to happened BEFORE she got in the water.  Her friend was in the same lane as her, the heat just before Grace’s.  Grace watched her swim, cheered her on and then made the fateful mistake of looking at the time board.  I could see the look on her face and I knew right then and there that this was not going to be a shining moment for Grace.

I was correct.  She added a few seconds from her best time, a time she got about 6 months ago.  Keep in mind the day before she shaved 4 seconds off her 100 free and two days before she swam the first 200 of a 500 faster than she swam her 200 free.

On the way home she said she was tired.  I challenged her.  She psyched herself out.  Her argument quickly changed to one of “it isn’t fair”.

You see, her friend only practices 2-3 times a week.  The rest of her time is spent on other sports.  She doesn’t even care about swimming.   The child is not only talented but also beautiful, kind and compassionate.  It is hard not to like her and easy to be jealous of her.  Grace quite obviously was.  I can’t blame her.

It isn’t fair.  She only practices 2-3 times a week.  She is fast.

Grace has to practice 5 times a week.  She wasn’t handed talent.  She has to work hard for it.  Sometimes I think if I could hand my kids talent I would.  Other times I am not so sure.  Developing a work ethic is a life skill.  So is recognizing that sometimes things come easier to other people.   I tell my kids all the time that I don’t care what other people’s kids are doing I only care about my own.  I will give them the tools they need to be successful in life.  But what they do with them, what they make of their own lives is entirely up to them.  I can’t do it for them.

My kids have to work hard.  Life isn’t fair.  Blah blah blah….  Swim your own race.  Or you walk home.  Don’t hand your race to someone who doesn’t even care if they beat you.  Don’t hand your race to anyone.

One thought on “It just isn’t fair

  1. I know the feeling. I am a competiitive swimmer as well and I went through the stage where I always checked to see what people went in the heat before me. I spent the entire race worrying about how I needed to go such and such time to beat the people before me. needless to say it did not go well. I learned I can watch the people swim there race before me (except the 200 fly, on that I just stare straight ahead), but i never look at the score board any more. Grace will get through it, getting beat is one of the best motivations.

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