Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sixth place (in her heat), but still in the race!

(All photos shamelessly purloined from

The video stream won't be available until the finals, which explains why we couldn't find the right event on universal sports. So, if you're planning on watching the reps on Tuesday (6:30 AM Eastern time), this is the Live Event Viewer link that will work. You see little flags racing each other on the screen with sporadic burst of progress. They are advancing to the right (I didn't immediately figure that out.)

We just Skyped with Margot. She is hugely disappointed but determined to correct the situation on Tuesday. The first 100 meters were "OK" in her evaluation, the last, she wasn't racing her race. She said she missed a lot of strokes because she was caught in between the wakes of the Czech and Gr Britain boats. I had never thought about that, but there's not much you can do, I would imagine, other than row by them, to overcome that.

As a parent, it's hard to find the right words to say when your child (even adult child) is disappointed. If you're there in person, a hug replaces the inept attempts at verbal encouragement. Listening seems the best recourse because just talking it out and through with someone who loves you hopefully is a bit of help.

The other hard thing is that you believe your child can do it, but don't want to be too "Go win that race" in case they don't and think they let you down. This applies to non-racing situations and all your children (like my wonderful sons, Nate and Tom).

Whether it's having your first grade teacher fail to post your picture because you used unusual colors, sitting the bench in basketball, dislocating a knee cap, missing that SAT score, having someone break up with you, etc. -- all the times when you watch your children struggle emotionally, physically, spiritually, I hope the important thing isn't that we know the right words, or can do something tangible, it's that they never have to wonder about whether we still love them, think of them with pride and joy, and thank God for them continually.

Keep the positive thoughts coming and thanks for your support!

I love you Mar!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your maternal sentiments capture the essence of the single scull: the longing for perfection, the belief in something greater, the realization of imperfection, but the striving to overcome.

It reminds me of why one sacrifices hours on the water. Sculling in a single is about something much greater than oneself. One rows from the inspiration of those closest. Your post captures the idealized sentiments that all amateurs imagine of their parents.

The single is a mysterious boat. This week is just the beginning of a monumental step. Your daughter held the greatest position in US rowing, she admirably represented the country in the single scull at the World Championship. Improvements will occur, but in a truly exponential fashion. Help her stay the course! The next two years will be the hardest commitment to her belief in herself.

(The character of those rowing on the Potomac greatly outweighs those on the hill. Those
"highlanders" are not even worthy of comparison!)