I don’t have an athletic bone in my body. My only physical attribute is that I’m still pretty flexible for my age (and current physical shape) but athleticism is not my gift. Not only am I not an athlete, I am not very competitive either so playing a sport (of any kind) has never been appealing to me. However, I am fascinated with the mindset required by athletes, especially those who compete in sports. (And to be quite honest, intimidated too.) I am inspired by their ability and desire to publicly demonstrate their skills. They are so courageous! I guess I just give in to my introvert side and admire them from a distance.
A few years ago, I saw my friend Laurie at a high school football game. I remember the incident not because it was a particularly great game, but for the conversation I had with Laurie that day. We each had kids at Central Catholic at the same time, but Laurie’s youngest was still in high school. We sat on the bench and caught up on life events.
It went the usual way with each of us reporting on what our kids were doing between graduations, college, new jobs, etc. And then Laurie said that Kendall (her oldest) had decided to work towards becoming an Olympian. (Wait… what?) That’s not a statement you hear everyday. Kendall was always a great athlete, but I didn’t remember her particularly involved in any one Olympic sport during her high school years. Was this a new endeavor?
Actually, yes! Kendall had watched the Women’s Skeleton at a recent Olympics and decided that it looked like fun. After a challenge from her family, Kendall pulled up the US Olympic Team website, clicked on a tab that said “Recruiting” and the rest is history.
Who does that? Only extraordinary individuals that have an inner drive that I will never understand but profoundly admire. And I’m happy to know her and call her a friend.
Kendall has focused on this goal ever since and just a few days ago was named to the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang South Korea! Countless hours of year-around training (on and off the track) as well as thousands and thousands of miles traveled have brought Kendall closer to her goal, but I’d have to say it is that determination that made her goal actualize. (For those who don’t know… We don’t have snow or a Skeleton track in Stanislaus County.)
So we’ll be glued to the Olympic coverage in February to catch a glimpse of our local heroine. I’ve already dug out the cowbell in anticipation. Just thinking about it makes my heart swell. I’m so happy for Kendall (and her extraordinary family) and can’t wait to watch her represent the USA in South Korea!
USA! USA! USA!
To read more about Kendall and the upcoming games, click HERE!