My mom. My biggest supporter. My biggest inspiration.
Living proof of the power of dreams. And grit. Sacrifice. Hard work. Failing forward.
Both of my parents.
This picture really struck me today - I talk about taking leaps and believing in the not-yet-seen. It hit me today.
This was my childhood. All of it.
Pregnant as teens. My dad walked away from a college scholarship and his legendary football career. My mom shunned and forced to homeschool because of her pregnancy.
Not exactly the ideal way to start a family.
They did it anyway. Together. A force. For what will be 40 years this December.
They took leaps.
The failed. And rose up, stronger.
Here was my mom - after 17 years - back in school. Four busy, active kids. A family business to run. Waitressing at night. Running a daycare during the day. And. Somehow she was right there when we needed her most. Talk about teamwork. And resilience.
This is around the same time that I was in the midst of my struggle. I was ready to walk away from swimming. She was the first to suggest that I take a leap - to change club teams. 60+ miles away. My dad - the one who drove me, dropped me off and then drove back - all before a day's work.
With each passing day, as a mother of 4, I am in awe. Absolute awe.
She did it. They did it. Our family did it. She graduated from nursing school. And she continued to grow. Going on to get her bachelors and an additional NICU certification. I KNOW from the letters written to her by parents that she continues to make a difference.
A powerful force of HOPE, BELIEF and LOVE.
BELIEVE in the not-yet-seen. Go out and DO. Take action toward your dreams - even if you didn't start out the way you wanted to.
Where you are right now is where you are meant to be.
This place - this moment does not define you.