Sunday, June 10, 2012

"I Never Thought It Would Be Me"

Those were the words out of Brigitte (Jo Jo) Winkler's mouth after she qualified for the 2012 US Olympic Swimming Trials last night while winning the 100 meter breaststroke race in Roseville, CA. Her time was 1:11.99. Several of her North Bay Aquatics teammates had a more reasonable shot at the prestigious meet's cuts. In the end, she was the one left standing in a somewhat nerve racking weekend of racing.

The lesson learned by Brigitte and her teammates was that nothing is assured and to some extent nothing is impossible.

Hard work, determination, trust and courage are all needed. There are some 300,000 registered swimmers in US Swimming. 1700 have been invited to try out for the Olympic Team. That means that .02% of the swimming population will be in Omaha.

The next lesson is that there are three stages following something remarkable (either a positive or negative situation)...Shock, Disbelief, Acceptance.

Jo Jo has had several conversations with her coaches about this process. If you cannot get to acceptance then you most usually stall out, never to repeat that awesome "unbelievable" event again.

Regardless of the outcome you need to move into the acceptance phase in order to move forward, either to new greater heights or to put aside a major disappointment and regain your footing.

There will be several swimmers who make the Olympic Team who no one is even considering right now. Likewise, there will be several favorites who miss. It happens every time. That is why they swim the events in the first place.

The first step in the process is to get invited. Congratulations to Brigitte and all those who will be in Omaha. It is a rare and distinct opportunity to say the least.

A final thought we shared with her is this; be grateful - and ask for more. She has accepted her results and is now ready to move forward. She is not done.

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