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Have You Forgotten?

September 11th.

For me, it is a day of deep reflection.  Never before or since September 11th, 2001 have I ever experienced the same level of intense feelings which I felt that day.  Fear, sadness, empathy, despair, anger, frustration, complete trepidation.  I feared for our nation as a whole and for the survivors and rescuers immersed in the thick of the chaos and destruction.  My heart ached for those who witnessed the devastation first hand, those who feared for the safety of their loved ones and neighbors.  I was angry beyond words and truth be told, today I still am. 

The days that followed my heart swelled with pride at the fearless bravado of our first responders, for our administration and military for their courage, pure human emotion and their quick response, and for the people of the United States who, for the first time I could recall, came together “undivided, with liberty and justice for all” in their minds and hearts.

I remember how deeply proud I felt to be an American.   

Here we are 15 years later.   Fifteen years is a long time.   5,479 days. 

Today, I’m still proud to be an American. Although I’m not so proud of America or some of my fellow Americans.   Too many people have forgotten.   Too many have become divided.  This sadness breeds fear in my heart again.  Fear of another heinous attack.  Fear we have allowed our guard to drop in order to not hurt the feelings of foreigners and non-American citizens.  Of those who may wish us harm again.  I honestly pray we NEVER have to endure another day like September 11th. 

If you’ve forgotten, I suggest you take a moment to reflect.  Remember where you were when you hear the news about the attacks.  Remember the shock and horror you felt when you watched the footage.  Remember how your heart ached for those who were lost, for their families and for the brave souls who tirelessly risked their lives to find the survivors.  Remember how we came together as a country to show our solidarity to our evil enemies. And then, don’t ever forget.

God Bless America

I have not forgotten.

never-forget-911

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Winning attitude

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Sitting in the stands watching my daughter’s club Waterpolo team compete in USA Waterpolo’s Junior Olympics is such an honor. A few weeks ago they battled it out with the best teams across the country to qualify for the platinum bracket. Now here we are beneath the sunny skies of Southern California on the pool deck cheering our girls on! Only one thing is different today. Where’s the fire? Where’s the drive? Because today, in this match, I don’t see it and it upsets me.
It seems the girls knew this match would be tough as the opposing team was the top seated in their bracket and they did not show up to win. They hardly showed up to play. Wait! Before you accuse me of being an overbearing parent with high expectations ….oh hell, perhaps I am a little. But here’s my point of view. Would you get into a car and say “oh well, we’re going to crash anyhow, so why steer?” Of course not! So why show up to a game and not give it your best?
Case in point, a few weeks back, I competed in a mountain bike race–my first in a few years. As we headed off the line and along the course, there was an obstacle blocking one of the directional signs (honestly, it was a spectator who shouldn’t been where he was). Several of us at the head of the pack missed the arrow pointing to ride over the ridge and instead we followed the established trail down a steep descent only to dead end a good 1/4 mile off course! Angry and upset, we turned around and had to now climb back up that steep slope as we helplessly watched many slower riders pass by and take a substantial lead! Are you kidding me?!? By the time we were back on course, their dust had settled and we were at an extreme disadvantage. This was just the first loop. Did we quit? Did we lay our bikes down and return to the start for a DNF? No! We rallied and we pushed each other to try and make up those several lost minutes. We encouraged each other although we were competitors. In our attempts to get around the slower riders we encountered multiple obstacles that wouldn’t have come into play had we not fallen behind. Riders who couldn’t maneuver the loose sandy corners or the rocky climbs and they slowed the course. In the end, I didn’t finish nearly as well as I would have hoped for but I finished despite the issues. And I finished proud because I gave it my all and did my best. Sure I was disappointed at first, but in the end I was thankful. Thankful for my health that allowed me to even be there. For my strength, both mental and physical, that carried me through. And, yes, thankful for the lesson that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned but we can still make the best of them. Mostly, thankful for a winning attitude!
So ladies, don’t sell yourselves short…ever. Don’t throw in the towel before the bath has even begun. Dig down, do your best and, win or lose, come out with a winning attitude. It means more in the big scheme of things than any scoreboard could ever mean!