Saturday, July 30, 2011

Warrior Weneki

"Victory isn't defined by wins or losses.
It is defined by effort.
If you can truthfully say, 'I did the best I could, I gave everything I had,'
then you're a winner.
Wolfgang Schadler

My daughter, Weneki, is about to set out on what I might call a trepidatious journey. For her, however, it is the culmination of months of exploration, determination, and hard work. At 7:30 Pacific time she will participate in her second Triathlon. It's a little more strenuous than the one she did back in Sept. of 09, each event will be longer and harder. Sadly (for me) I won't be there to watch. Back when I was making the decision not to go it made sense on a lot of fronts to wait til another time. Right here, right now gotta say I think it was one dumb decision.

When Weneki was about 10 or eleven she entered a mile road race and to everyone's surprise, because she had never run before nor trained at all, she won it. She zoomed by not just her age group, but all the women in the race. Her Dad and I stood on the sidelines cheering her on for the first of many races. You know that line in Dirty Dancing when Baby is out on the dance floor and her mother gives her Dad the evil eye and says, "she gets it from me"? Many of Weneki's attributes may come from my gene pool, but her athletic prowess and ability to keep going when life sucks comes from a long line of Texas speed racers. Her father's side of the family also has a love for gambling which might come in handy when you are about to swim .9 miles, bike 25 miles and run 6 miles. It's the kind thing where you have to put all your chips on the line, take a deep breath and go for it. My side of the family would have our eyes closed, our fingers crossed in one hand, and saying the rosary in the other.

Don't get me wrong. It's not a total gamble because she' has trained for 6 months. She has worked long runs, hilly bike rides and Olympic pool swims into her already busy schedule. On cold days, rainy days, hectic days, and just-want-to-sit-on-the-couch-and-veg days she dug deep and found the inner strength to do what had to be done.

As a form of training in the last few weeks she participated in the Warrior Dash, which may be more of a mind challenge than physical one. Of course that is being said by a person who would not be able to scale a rope wall, run through fire, or swim through mud if a Grizzly bear was chasing her. Weneki's next challenge was a 1.2 mile lake swim called the Fat Salmon. I thought the problem with a lake swim would be the chilly temperatures. Weneki says it's the reeds and swimmy in the water things really freak her out. From the looks of it she had no problem.

Back when Weneki was 10, probably even before that, we saw that she was born for greatness. Not necessarily the kind of greatness where you win Olympic medals, fly to the moon, or find a cure for cancer (though I have no doubt if she'd set her mind to it, she could have done all three). Weneki's greatness comes in the form of fortitude forged by fire.

She's faced hard times in her life. She's won and she's lost. She's anxious at times but doesn't give up. I won't say she laughs in the face of danger, but when she laughs she can light up a room.

As his #1 daughter dashes into a cold Washington lake, Texas Jimmy will be standing behind the plastic orange fence like he did so thirty years ago. He'll yell and cheer and run with her as she comes round the bend and into the finishing chute. I'll be home waiting to hear all about it and hoping he got a bunch of pictures. And I'll be praying prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine One for the gift of this warrior in my life.

Today I'm grateful for all the times and all the people who have said to my daughter, "You can do it" and for her knowing deep down inside they were right. I'm grateful for new homes filled with possibility.

Wishing for you that you put your best foot forward and it carries you over the finish line of your dreams,
Merry ME

1 comment:

Pamela Jones said...

Pretty awesome, Ms. Weneki! And Mary...would it surprise you to know that I also have a child who runs the Warrior Dash? Small world. And he doesn't get it from me, either!