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Braver Than Me

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

As these things go, our lives have been disrupted in a big way, and I know many of you, of us, are dealing with challenges which test us to our limits. Teaching online, having kids underfoot, computer systems inadequate to the task, laying off employees, and being distant from those who normally bring comfort during challenging times is weighing us all down. For me, and probably for you, using time wisely, investing it not just spending it, has taken on a whole new meaning. Staying focused on things which are good and right and true seems close to impossible with the constant barrage of conflicting reports, the unending newsfeed. Hopefully this little tale will bring you some levity and encouragement.
When my daughter was in elementary school, she wanted to be on the swim team. At that time the Rec Center was the only game in town for swimming. Dutiful parents we, of course enrolled her in the basic level and began the ever so time-consuming life of swim team parents. And so, comes out the wallet!
Having competed in swimming myself, I thought I had a handle on the required level of commitment. But I guess I was wrong. An entire weekend can be consumed by your kid swimming a grand total of 6 minutes!
So back to the Rec Center. The Rec Center pools are a sort of labyrinth of decks and bodies and gear. It gets very crowded, very humid, very vapor-y, very stifling. If you had any illusions of fresh air, they get shattered fairly quickly in this petri dish environment. You get the idea, a lot of people in a small space (hard to remember, eh?). Congestion!
Well at the beginning of the meet, we were told it was time for the national anthem. So we all stood, and respectfully put our hands over our hearts and then….
A trumpet.
And it wasn’t Gabriel.
The notes rang out, not too sure at first, not always on time, not always on tune, not great resonance but loud and proud. I moved around to see the artist, the bold soul.
There he stood.
A chubby ten or eleven-year-old little boy who had not yet enjoyed the masculinizing effects of testosterone, standing there in a Speedo. A Speedo I tell you! An old-fashioned Mark Spitz style Speedo! A Speedo that leaves little room for the imagination. There he stood blowing his heart out on that trumpet. No fear, no self-consciousness, no regrets. Just air through a brass pipe! And gusto!
It wasn’t long until every eye in the house was on this kid. And now we are all along for the ride and we all know the big crescendo is coming, “the land of the FREE”, and we all know that people mangle that note all the time and the tension is mounting and he is in his Speedo and the air is heavy and wet and we are all holding our breaths, and we are really wondering if this kid is gonna try to hit that note, in a Speedo, with adolescent adipose tissue unashamedly exposed, and now he has rounded third and is heading for home.
The kid went for it. All in baby! He went with everything he had, his cheeks flushed and rosy.  No one there could have missed the drama and not many heard the note either, I know I didn’t, because the roar was immediate and deafening. We were all charmed and inspired at so valiant an effort.
I never saw that kid again during the meet. I don’t know if he swims with that level of trepidation, but I don’t care. He will always be braver than me.
I haven’t heard deafening applause like that very often in life.
Am I suggesting that you buy a Speedo and a trumpet?
But for sure, remember to play the hand you were dealt and play it with all your might. In times of certainty and in times of disruption…
All in baby!
Perfection is overrated.


6 Join the Conversation

  1. Carla J Gardiner says
    Apr 17, 2020 at 5:59 PM

    This made me laugh, hold my breath and cheer, too. Thanks for the entertainment worthy of it's writer.

    • says
      Apr 17, 2020 at 11:08 AM

      Loved it then and love the memory of it now. Thanks Carla. Keep laughing but don't forget to breath!

  2. Deb Stiller says
    Apr 17, 2020 at 7:21 PM

    I needed that laugh! I can just imagine what it looked like...a speedo and trumpet! Good one!!! Thanks for the humor.

    • says
      Apr 17, 2020 at 1:25 PM

      Keep laughing, it'll make you even more healthy! We love the interaction so keep reading and comment anytime. We appreciate you greatly!

  3. Lois Lindblom says
    Apr 18, 2020 at 3:33 AM

    I loved the story....made me laugh soooo hard. Thanks for making my evening.

    • says
      Apr 20, 2020 at 8:11 AM

      Lois, Good to hear from you. Hope all is well. We all need good belly laughs these days, it's healthy. Keep finding ways to laugh and we will keep trying to find ways to help! Cheers. ks

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