I remember the day she began walking.
David and I had ordered take out for dinner, and we were sitting on the floor of our family room eating as baby Daly Kay crawled around on the floor. She saw me eating a chicken tender and began walking towards me wanting a bite.
I think it was the only time she ever walked.
She began running as fast as her little legs could carry her shortly after her first steps.
Not entirely coordinated, many times her speed would get the better of her and she would careen right into a wall. Wincing as the oncoming blow with the unmoving wall was about to ensue, she never thought to slow down.
Her first triathlon was with a bike that had sparkly pom poms on the handlebars and a pink plastic floral basket on the front. Her dad ran the entire race right next to her. She had only learned to ride a bike about a week before the race. Six years old and black as a berry from swim practice at the same pool she still trains at nearly fifteen years later, she finished the race all smiles.
Over the years, she had many successes and far more failures when it came to athletics. But every race, each competition was a good lesson in endurance. Even though the journey has been long, I am always amazed when I stand back and realize from first steps to national competition how far she has come.
And so my main encouragement to you today, is not to brag on my daughter, but to tell you that the road to raising an adult is an arduous journey that day by day, trial by trial, competition by failure and by
success can add up to far more than you may ever even imagine.
I would have never guessed that when she took her first steps she would one day be climbing the sand ladder at one of the world’s most challenging and infamous competitions.
When she began infant survival swim lessons at 13 months of age, I would have never believed she would willingly jump into the San Francisco Bay and swim in 58 degree water the 1.5 miles to shore.
That first race on her bike with the glittering pom poms would have never given me insight to a future 18 mile bike through the harrowing hills of San Francisco.
And yet here we are.
It’s all worth it moms and dads. Every scrape, loss, argument, tear…all worth it.