Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Believe...

Last night marked the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.  The opening ceremony was wonderful to watch and for the usual reasons, I was emotional listening to the stories of the athletes and their hard work and dedication to their dream and how much walking into the stadium means to them.  The song they chose as the theme for the Olympic games is by Nikki Yanofsky and it's called "I Believe".  Again, I pay special attention to the lyrics and these ones are powerful. 
I grew up being sporty - it's a part of who I am.  I've competed with some amazing athletes and am proud to call many of them friends.  I remember well the endless training sessions, the stairs, the hills, the twice a day practices but I also remember the elation of winning.  I clearly remember the moment in the rain after double overtime and a penalty kick goal with 14 seconds left and then the pride at having our team stand to receive the gold medal at nationals (I won't share what year that was - suffice to say the glory days are long since passed!).  I remember too that I've always been the work horse - the grinder - the one that the coach patted on the back and thanked for running a thousand miles that game.  I was always consistent, dedicated and loud, aggressive ,  spirited, intense but not the finesse player who received accolades on the top scoring sheet.  I often won hardest working and most consistent, but not all star.  That national championship in the rain, my coaches had our pre tournament meeting and said to me work hard, be intense keep your mouth shut,  have fun, and the tournament would be great one for me.  I did.  I worked harder, ran more, and held up my end of the bargain for my team.  It was an honor I will never forget when they announced the final member of the allstar team and I was asked to step forward to join a group of women who were chosen by those 'scouts' on the side lines.  A group of women who patted me on the back and commended me for my unwavering spirit, passion, and effort... it is a moment that will forever be a highlight in my life.  Where am I going with this?  I am certainly not comparing Nationals to the olympics but hearing the stories of those at the ultimate competition brought back my own memories and I will draw the comparisson to this journey in adoption. 
For some of us out here in adoption land, things came pretty easy.  The "training" if you will was without extra exhertion - things went as planned. It didn't rain on your practice much less on game day.  For others, there have been 6am practices in the dark, it's rained - no POURED, we've been run hard after a long game just because things didn't go well and running seemed to be the answer, there have been injuries (some career / adoption ending), and there have been things that made us think we might not ever see the end of regulation time.  We've stumbled, had moments of brilliance, been cheered on by the crowd, our team and our coaches, sometimes we've lost... but ultimately, in the end, in the rain, feeling beat up and worn out, the most amazing reward was grantid as a recognition of our efforts.  For anyone who knows me well, I am a woman of analogies and stories.  Working hard and eventually winning isn't just something I did on the field, it's who I am as a person.  Mediocrity is not acceptable.  (this often made me a "pain in the ass" for refs, adoption Social Workers, and sometimes team mates but it gets the job done and for that I have no apologies)
Listening to the song "I believe" last night brought tears to my eyes as the parallel of sports and life was again brought to mind for me.  I don't know if my son will want to chase a ball or a puck, but I hope he does because for every lesson I learned on that field, I can apply it to the difficult days that I go through now on the way to my goal.  Like my father in law used to say, "Hard work beats talent when talent don't work hard".  It might not be easy, but the end result is so worth the trying.  To my son, I hope that I will instill an unwaivering spirit that with hard work, anything can be accomplished.  I hope you will come to learn characteristics of dedication, passion, kindness, ferocity in the face of adversity, spirit, fair play, and simply a love of the game... no matter what "game" it might be. 
I hope I will teach you to simply BELIEVE. 
2010 is a year that great things will be accomplished in Vancouver.  Dreams will be attained, athletic careers will find their ultimate meaning, happy tears will be shed, coaches, families, friends will cheer at the top of their lungs and athletes will bow their heads to accept the ultimate reward for their work.  This year for me, personal dreams will be attained, life will find bigger meaning, happy tears will be shed, adoption coaches, family, and friends will cheer at the top of their lungs and in a couple months in Khabarovsk Russia, I will bow my head in thanks to a Judge who will allow me to accpet the ultimate reward for my hard work. 
I believe.

1 comment:

alicia said...

I Believe...perfect! You have incredible strength & endurance. Your life's past journeys are what is leading you thru this. Few travel roads this convoluted & stay on the same path. I am cheering you on to the finish line & your olympic gold medal!!