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Friday, February 21, 2014

Sweet Silver Lining

This time of the year is a difficult one for some of the people I care about most.  You see, we are nearing the end of our gymnastics season, and these girls are exhausted, their bodies are in pain and some days, I can just feel their longing and their desperation for some relief.  Don't get me wrong, I know how dedicated they are.  They want to succeed and they want to work hard for it.  Imagine studying for a huge exam... knowing it meant everything to you... so you study for hours a day, everyday trying to prepare for it.  Now imagine that every time you put your pen to paper your hand has shooting pains, or every word you read from that text book causes your head to throb, and yet, you study anyway... and you do this, day in and day out, for hours at a time because you know the outcome will be great.

That is what it is like for a collegiate gymnast who refuses to let her body tell her she can't.  These girls amaze me.  I remember feeling this kind of pain.  I remember going to bed in tears, and waking up feeling worse.  It's an endless cycle for these women in a girl's sport.  There is a responsibility lingering over their heads, "I must push through," or, "the team is depending on me."  Quite the revelation for these athletes who grew up in a sport that celebrates the individual, and in the first moment of their collegiate careers they are struck with the idea that they are no longer competing for themselves.

It is a daunting and sometimes overwhelming idea.  What they do matters for 20 other people... so taking care of themselves is now important.  Being able to compete through injuries is now important, and knowing when to step aside and let someone else step in is now important.  The line between doing what is right for you and what is right for the team is sometimes a hard line to distinguish... and yet, they know... they know the team comes first and they know that all the glory that will come from the sacrifices they have made will pay off, whether they are the one on the balance beam or the one pulling the spring board.
My girls: Leaning on each other... sharing strength.

It's so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in pain.  Your body is telling you NO... while your heart is telling you, "one more turn."  It's easy to get downhearted and upset when you are thinking about your dreams... but I am hear to tell you that everything happens for a reason.  There are days when you absolutely will NOT want to believe that... and that's okay.  As long as you can look back on those days and realize that you learned something.  Maybe you pushed yourself too hard that day.... maybe you didn't push yourself hard enough... maybe you had a great day and learned that you can go a little bit further.  Whatever you learned... it will contribute to positive growth in your life.  Whether you are an athlete, a student, a parent or a friend.... you can always learn something about yourself.

This song used to help me through some really difficult times.  I remember thinking, "if I just screw on this smile, no one will know what I'm going through."  Not the healthiest of brain patterns to use.  But I think it does have a great message.  Keep pushing through, keep looking forward and keep believing in that silver lining.

No matter what you are going through, no matter what kind of pressures you feel, you are important, you are valued and you are worthy of happiness.  You need to take care of yourself and know that life is not going to be easy, but you are STRONG, You are BRAVE, and you can make it.

Love True,
Allison

"Sweet Silver Lining"


Well I'm going home
Downhearted and hoping
I'm close to some new beginning
I know there's a reason for everything
That comes and goes


But so many people are looking to me
To be strong and to fight 
But I'm just surviving
And I may be weak but I'm never defeated
And I'll keep believing
In clouds with that sweet silver lining


Most days I try
My best to put on a brave face
But inside
My bones are cold and my heart breaks
But all the while
Something's keeping me safe and alive


But so many people are looking to me
To be strong and to fight 
But I'm just surviving
And I may be weak but I'm never defeated
And I'll keep believing
In clouds with that sweet silver lining

And I won't give up like this
I will be given strength
Now that I've found it 
Nothing can take that away

  But so many people are looking to me
  To be strong and to fight 
  But I'm just surviving
  And I may be weak but I'm never defeated
  And I'll keep believing
  In clouds with that sweet silver lining


  But so many people are looking to me
  To be strong and to fight 
  But I'm just surviving
  And I may be weak but I'm never defeated
  And I'll keep believing
  In clouds with that sweet silver lining



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