Life with Bo continues...
He is on the swim team and swam in the first meet of the season. He was not thrilled at the prospect.
His one event was the 50 meter freestyle. Bo wore his solid black Speedo with his mirrored goggles and, at least, looked the part.
The whistle blew, and Bo climbed onto the block. I had ring side seats because I was a “stroke and turn judge.” The announcer shouted, “Go!” Bo jumped in and started down the pool. He got half-way down and noticed the other swimmers were going in the opposite direction. He started to turn around and head back, but luckily his fan club coached him in the right direction. He made it the first 25 meters and turned to head back. At this point, the other swimmers were finished and probably even dry! Bo didn’t notice. He was working hard. All we could see were those mirrored goggles popping up very few seconds.
That pool looked so long to this mama.
His cheering section was going crazy!
“Come on, Bo!”
“You got this, man!”
"You can do it!"
Thank God I had on my sunglasses on and no one could see the tears streaming down my face. It was a mixture of joy, pride, fear, sadness, and inspiration. I felt encouragement and support from the people all around me. The cheers were so loud, so genuine, so contagious! Everyone was pulling for Bo! He kept coming and wasn’t giving up. The crowd got louder as he got closer and closer. His little hand hit the wall, those goggles went to his forehead, and I felt relieved and proud and excited.
The child looked around and didn’t see any of his competitors. He looked up at me with these huge blue eyes and wet hair stuck to his head: “Did I win?”
I laughed through my tears.
“YES! Bo, you won! You always win!”
I got an email later with the times recorded at the meet. Bo finished in a minute and forty seconds. It was a minute-a solid sixty seconds-after the other swimmers. Most of them finished in 40 seconds. An entire minute. That’s a long time. It felt like an hour.
Someone gave Bo a ribbon when he got out of the pool, the ribbon declared that Bo won. I don’t know who it was - a coach, a lifeguard, or even an official. I would love to thank whoever that was.
We all know Bo didn’t win his heat. We all know that ribbon was not his. That doesn’t matter. What matters is what Bo thought, what Bo felt, and what Bo accomplished at that meet.
What are you trying to win? What matters to you? What are you trying to accomplish? What does winning even mean? What can you learn from Bo?
Bo woke up the next morning and said, “Can y’all believe I won that swim meet?!”
Life with Bo is the best!