Shannon participated in the Capitol View Triathlon and Duathlon today and she completed it satisfactorily! Since she's a beginner triathlete, she decided to do the Sprint which included a 400-meter swim; 10-mile bike and 3.1-mile run.
The morning was cold with a breeze when we got there - about an hour early just to be able to park somewhere within a reasonable distance from the starting line. And the lake looked intimidating even for someone who was not going to get her feet wet, As the sun slowly rose, the air warmed up a little but not enough to make a difference in the water temperature. To some, this is just one of the events that they participate in on a regular basis. This is their life. And it is easy to recognize them by their confidence and the gear they wear. Listening from the conversations of people standing by the shore, I can tell there were many beginners like Shannon. There is an undisclosed fear of the daunting unfamiliarity and challenge that awaits them.
I must admit that I was nervous. I am no athlete and thus have no accurate understanding of what this event entails. As soon as my daughter started each leg of the race, I waited and hoped that I would soon see her at the transition point and finally the finish line. When she walked - along with the rest of the participants - into the frigid Lake Mendota, I walked away from the crowd of spectators and looked up to the heavens for grace on my child. God was listening.
For a parent sending out a child go out to conquer a certain goal, there is nothing sweeter than seeing that child appear at the last bend before the finish line. It doesn't matter how deep the mud as long as you get close enough to see them reach the finish line. :)