Learning what it means to be a winner.
|Every bone in my body hurts, but I’m determined to make it across this lake.
My thoughts wander back to the first day I met my swim coach twenty years ago, he didn’t impress me, he wore a hat that was too small.
We met by the pool, I wasn’t sure if trying out for the swim team was a good idea, because I had never excelled in any sport.
Coach Pain bluntly told me to get in the pool.
I quietly said I didn’t bring my swimsuit.
He said he didn’t care, and said strip down to my shorts and get in the pool. That I would have to get used to people staring at me and learn to shrug it off, that if I couldn’t strip in front of him, how was I going to perform at by best with a crowd of spectators watching me.
After I stripped, I jumped in the pool and started treading water. Then he started to monologue about how on his team there are no second string or third string places open, that he only works with winners. It was a long time after that conversation that I finally figured out what he meant by winners. He meant who you are as a person, not just at the swim meet, he believed that good character was more important than winning every time.
That’s why even though every bone in my body hurts, I’m going to win this charity event for him. May he Rest In Peace.
Standing here on this platform, I proudly accept my metal, no longer that shy, awkward teenager, proud that Coach Pain taught me what it means to be a winner. A winner is a person of good character and that’s what really matters.