A Little Recognition 7/31 #SOL16

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The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
31 Days of Writing!
Hosted at the Two Writing Teachers


A Little Recognition

Paul and I went to Winter Sports Awards Night at the High School for B and E this evening. Both girls are on the Poms Team.  As the Athletic Director announced each of the sports teams, their season’s records and placements at local meets, tournaments, and regional and state competitions, I just wanted to jump up and shout:  “Hey!  Do you know that two of these athletes have also won a national gold medal and 2 international gold medals this season for their other sport?!?!?!?” 

Of course I didn’t.  (But, I wanted to.)  That would not have been nice, or polite, or appropriate, or… And it definitely would have embarrassed B and E.  My thoughts are not to minimize the achievements of the other athletes, by any means.  The list of their accomplishments is equally impressive.

Congratulations to all of our Chicago Jazz Junior Team skaters for their amazing season! I am so proud of these girls and all they do to balance a passion for their sport and their academics.  Synchronized skating athletes train year round and work incredibly hard at a sport that is not recognized by their high school athletic departments. High school skaters that compete at the junior level miss 15-20 days of school during their competitive season. They are not exempt from their schoolwork (nor should they be) and they are often penalized or lose privileges because of their absences from school.  They do schoolwork while they are traveling and they work hard to make up missed assignments, projects, tests, etc., when they get home.  They don’t ask for free passes – just a little understanding – and maybe a little recognition at the high school sports awards night.

So, congratulations to all high school athletes everywhere for their hard work and dedication to their sports and their academics!  What you do is admirable on so many levels!  I’m paying attention and I recognize all of you.

SOL15 That Moment 30/31

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The March Slice of Life Story Challenge –  An Online Writing Experience Hosted by The Two Writing Teachers

That Moment

That moment
When this Team leaves the hotel and I second-guess that I have everything they need: 20 hair clips, 20 pairs of earrings, 20 dresses, 20 skaters…

That moment
When these girls are singing bus songs with the lyrics changed to fit the hopes and dreams of their Team.

That moment
When these girls are putting their skates on in the locker room and I worry if there is enough tape on the rolls to tape laces on 20 pairs of skates.

That moment
When these girls, standing in a circle, hands held tight, SCREAM THEIR LOUDEST to rid themselves of last minute nerves.

That moment
When these girls line up in the tunnel for their final stretches before they take the ice.

That moment
When these girls recite their “One Element at a Time” chant.

That moment
When these girls shout “God is good! God is great! God almighty, help us skate!

That moment
When these girls take the ice to the cheers and applause of the crowd. “Give me a C…”

That moment
When the crowd is mesmerized as these girls begin to skate their program and make their magic on the ice.

That moment
When these girls skate their best and I can finally breathe because it’s over.

That moment
When these girls hang on to each other, heads bowed, in the kiss and cry waiting for their scores.

That moment
When the scores are announced and these girls are hugging and crying and jumping up and down.

That moment
When these girls realize that all their hard work has been recognized and rewarded.

These girls are the Chicago Jazz Junior Team – Team USA. They are the 2015 Midwestern Synchronized Skating Champions and represented the United States in Germany at the Cup of Berlin in January of 2015. I am privileged to follow these girls around with the Team bag as their Team Manager.

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Many thanks to Michelle at Literacy Learning Zone for inspiring this slice.  It is important to take time to appreciate all the big and little moments that become our cherished memories.