Because You’re Good At It

Scott and I spent the majority of last weekend surrounded by sports.  Taking a few hours hiatus from watching the Olympic Games, we headed over to Winter Springs to attend my niece and nephews’ swim meet.

We had one heck of a morning before we got there…

What started with a 5 a.m. Saturday airport pick-up call later turned into cleaning up after a sick kitty and an exploding bathroom faucet.  Happy Saturday!

By the time we got to the pool we were happy to sit back and relax – as much as we could – in the Florida heat.

“Because You’re Good At It”

Have you ever been convinced to follow through with something, just because you have been told you are good at it?  Whether it’s an extra curricular activity, a sport, or even a hobby, I would guess more than a handful of you have experienced this at one time or another.

For me, it’s blogging. Kidding! I love it… clearly.

Growing up, I would have to say it was playing the piano for me.  Although I loved playing, I absolutely despised practicing.  My mother would pretty much have to beg me to put in a few hours a week to understand, read, and play new music.

I liked playing the piano, I just didn’t have a desire to get better – which was a huge problem.  I played for a few years in elementary school because “I had the perfect piano hands,” referring to my extra long and lean fingers.  I had no problem playing the songs I knew, but never once enjoyed learning new material.

Eventually, I gave it up.  I then focused all of my time and dedication to dance, which turned out to be a great decision.

Heather S Orlando Magic Dancersource

There were definitely times I wanted to give that up as well, but pushed myself through countless auditions, competitions, long 18-hour days, and tiring rehearsals.  Year after year, I moved through different opportunities in dance, starting with three years of performing in The Nutcracker, then competing on my college dance team, and eventually dancing four years professionally in the NBA.

Sometimes, it is worth all of the hard work.  Who knew? ;)

While at the swim meet this weekend, my sister asked me to encourage my niece, Kayla, to keep swimming.  The following shots were taken by a friend of ours back in 2010, but she looks just as adorable swimming today!

Little Swimmer KaylaPhoto Credit: Lauren Watai Photography

Kayla is one of the best on her team and has done really well in almost every single meet she competes in.  Although it seems like she has a knack for it, her heart isn’t always into it and often mentions other activities to my sister she wants to try.

The latest request is jazz dancing.  Considering my dance background, of course I am all on board for this idea!

Kayla also tried cheerleading last year, and although she has already caught on to basic tumbling skills in a short amount of time, she doesn’t like to yell or cheer.  My opinion is at least the dance classes will help with cheer and dance choreography, which would also give her a chance to keep at it a little longer.

My sister thinks jazz might be a waste of time for her.  Instead, she really wants her to focus on swimming, since she seems to be “good at it.”

Little girl Kayla SwimmingPhoto Credit: Lauren Watai Photography

At the end of the meet, the Tiger Sharks (their team) were announced the winners and my sister asked me to encourage Kayla to sign up for swimming again.  I was happy to, but I’m not sure how happy she was to hear it from yet another person.

The “Because you’re good at it” phrase also got me thinking about Michael Phelps, while watching a documentary about his training from 2008 until now.  After winning an incredible 14 Gold Medals in the Olympics, he first announced he wasn’t going to be competing in the 2012 London Games.  A year later, he changed his mind and began to train for his next go at the Olympic Games.

Did he get burnt out?

Does he really want to win more Gold Medals, or does he feel like he should compete again, because he is obviously a little better than “good at it”?

Michael Phelps 2012 Olympics

It looks as though this will be the end of his Olympic career when mid-August comes around.  Phelps has made it pretty clear that this is his last go around.

Training so hard, every single day, year after year, I totally understand why he would want to move on.  I respect him for trying his best in this year’s Games and would still be a huge fan of his if he didn’t win another medal.  He is SO close to breaking the world record though, it would be a shame for him not to do it.

Hmmm.  I wonder if that thought would convince him to compete in one more Olympic year?  I guess only time will tell.

Questions of the Day

• Have you ever stuck with something because you were told you are good at it?  What sport or activity was it?

• Looking back at where the time and dedication took you, would still have made the decision to stick with it?

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