my 3 boys participated in the wasa lake kids triathalon on saturday. this was jensen and burton's second time and evan's first time and, like last year, we had a great time. i wrote about it to my brother, robert, who is currently serving a mission in the scotland/ireland mission. because i did such a good job rehashing it for him, and even managed to make a "profound" (ha!) comparison to life, i am just going to share what i wrote to him....i don't think i could manage the same brilliance (again...ha!) that i managed a few nights ago, so here it is (it also happens to be rob and andrew's 20th birthday today. hence the birthday wishes):
hey rob -
first off, i hope you had a good week - the last one in your teens!! when you get this, you will be 20!! and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! to you:) any special plans for your birthday?
the 3 boys participated in ther second (ev's first) wasa lake triathalon yesterday. it was a great day! it was so much fun to watch the boys push themselves and do something hard. it was a decent day, but as the weather has not been stellar so far this spring, the water was still freezing!! evan's age group went first. now, as you know evan, he can some times be a bit of a boob. but did he let the freezing cold water stop him? no!! it was so awesome. when the race started, he was one of the first kids to just dive in the water. they weren't in very deep water but they still weren't supposed to run to complete the swim - they had to either swim or dolphin dive - and evan kept diving in the water the whole time. after 2 or 3 jumps in the water, he came up crying. but again, that didn't stop him. i had a moment of "oh crap!" when i saw him come up crying - again, you know what evan is like. once he gets upset it isn't easy to console him. so, when i saw him start to cry, i thought that that was it - he was done. but no. he powered through it, finished the swim, biked with ease, and did his run. it was so awesome to see my little evanator complete his race and be so proud of himself for doing it! he already can't wait until next year. you would've been so proud of him rob!!
burton and jensen were in the same age group this year. they swam 150 meters, biked 5 km, and then ran 1 km. jensen did it without too much difficulty but it was really quite hard for burton. last year the water level in the lake was quite a bit lower so it was much easier for him to complete the swim. and he was also at the head of the pack when the race started. he kind of got lost in the shuffle this time - he was more at the back and couldn't touch the bottom well enough to really push his way passed anyone. as i watched him try to start the swim, he looked so lost out in the freezing cold water - almost panicked. my heart, as his mother, hurt for him! he even tried doing the back stroke just to get things started. but every time he "came up" for air or turned around to see where he was headed, he still looked panicked. so i muscled my way through some of the parents so i was closer to where burton was on the shoreline and just started cheering as loud as i could - saying, "you can do it burton!!" once he heard my voice and saw me on the shore, he didn't look so lost anyomre - the look of tears and panic disappeared and he was able to dig deep and finish the swim. after the 5 k bike, the run was also tough. when i saw burton rounding the last corner, he looked close to tears - like ke was trying so hard to keep it together. so again, i ran back to where he was and started just cheering for him. i even ran beside him for a bit. again, once he saw me there with him, cheering him on, he was able to regroup and pour on a little bit of speed to finish the race.
it made me feel so much love for my boys to be on the sidelines, cheering them on, encouraging them to do their best and to see them visibly lifted by my cheering. writing this just now, to you, made me think that this is really what life is all about. we are running our own race, trying our best to run it well. it is really hard some times. at times we want to just curl up, cry, throw in the towel and quit - because the water is too cold or the run is too long and hard. but then we hear and see our family and friends, cheering us on from the sidelines and even running beside us some times - encouraging us and reminding us that we can do it. and then there is our Savior - who is our biggest fan, who wants us to finish the race and finish it well. and he is not only cheering us on but he is always there, running beside us. the whole way. he not only ran his own race but is running our race with us too.
so, rob, when you are over in scotland and ireland serving your mission and it gets hard, remember that we, your family, are there for you. look to the shoreline and you will see us there - cheering you on, encouraging you, and reminding you that you can do this. and we will be there, running beside you and helping you finish your race - always.
i love you my brother!! have a great birthday and know that i am thinking of you today and always!