Greta participated in her first triathlon yesterday. She did so well! She placed third in her eight year old female division and qualified to go race in the US Ironkids Championship. Wow!
We are proud of her for so many reasons... (I am recording these reasons in detail so when things look too challenging Greta can look back and hopefully be inspired and strengthened)
She trained with Gene for her events during the scorching hot summer afternoons. There were days in the end when she would bike and swim for training. I don't even like to run two errands in my air conditioned car.
A few days before the race Greta accidentally slammed her finger in the car door. It was bad... the nail lifted from the nail bed and is still raw and sore. She didn't let that stop her even when her bandages came off during the race. She kept pushing herself through the pain but burst into tears when she crossed the finish line. I could only imagine how excruciating her finger must have been with the heat, the sensations during the swim and other activities, and the exertion.
She missed the classes offered during registration that prepare the kids for the actual race day. Greta was in Huxley, IA cheering on her big sister's team at the Iowa State Little League Fastpitch tournament. We got home late in the evening the day before the race so Greta had no idea what to expect when she arrived at the event. I would have been so stressed... okay, I was stressed and I wasn't racing.
The funniest part of Greta's race and ingenuity was when she was slowed down in the swimming leg by a child swimming in a life jacket. She couldn't just go around because there were so many lifeguards in the water and there wasn't room so she... swam under the other swimmer so she could pass. I love it! Way to assess your options and have an open mind.
Lastly, the biggest reason that I love her and this opportunity... those of you who know Greta well know that she faces challenges day to day. She received positive attention based on her accomplishment and hard work. It was a day that lifted her up instead of a day that ended in disappointment. I won't forget this day anytime soon and neither will she.
Will Greta get to go to the US Championship race? We don't know. We are in the middle of a PCS move to Missouri and the chances of Gene being able to take leave so soon is slim to none. That's okay, she owns this moment and it is a good one.