Sportswomen of Colorado
Well that pretty well sums it up right there. Think I will stop while I can.
Nope, that’s not going to work either. So. On Sunday, March 10, 2013, LS&G 2012 was honored with the Swede Johnson Spirit award as presented by the Sportswomen of Colorado. This is beyond recognition, beyond an honor, beyond our fantasies. beyond words, beyond the wild blue yonder. Beyond Missy Franklin. Ok, not beyond Missy Franklin, nothing is beyond Missy Franklin, except us and that is in years only.
Every year the Sportswomen of Colorado honor the female athletes in our state who have excelled in a variety of sports. These women, for the most part, are high school to college age to slightly beyond college age phenoms who are setting NCAA records, school records, and in one notable case, Olympic records. They go faster, farther, and become stronger every year. As someone who didn’t have the benefit of participating in sports as a young(er) woman – (read pre-Title IX – look it up if you want to know the year, not telling here) listening to what these women accomplish is absolutely stunning. The emcees presented a list of their individual accomplishments in sports, and then continued on to address the scholastic accomplishments and social accomplishments of each honoree. They are Honor students, Boettcher Scholarship qualifiers, and Home Coming Queens. Astounding. And then. . . . there be us. . . . a wee bit older, not certain about the wiser, most definitely shorter and a bit grayer (some more that others). Yet, there we be. LS&G. Four women with truly no other intent than to hop on our bikes and race across the country, while hopefully kindling a spark of interest as we rolled. Who knew?
My favorite story of the evening (apologies to my daughter – stop reading now if you are) was during the registration process. As I was checking in, the wonderful volunteer looked at my 24-year-old daughter, who is lovely, tall, and every bit an athlete, and asked if she was an award recipient. Uh . . no . . . that would be the older women on her left. There was a look of astonishment that crossed the volunteer’s face which she quickly hid and welcomed me with such gusto that my stomach actually stopped flipping for a second. That alone sums up the evening. Feeling a teensy bit out-of-place and in a bit of a time warp we bravely marched single file onto the stage in front of everybody who is anybody in women’s sports in Colorado not to mention our own entourage of family and friends to accept our medals and plaques from none other than Missy Franklin. Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old who is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke and the American record in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke, THAT Missy Franklin. She is young enough to be my daughter – bordering on granddaughter – and tall enough to walk over me without breaking stride. Both of these thoughts are pretty darn scary, to be honest. Overwhelmed by the evening? Nope. Yep.
When all was said and done, I felt sort of kinship with these young women. They are just beginning their athletic and adult lives with tons of potential. We are, in a sense, nearing the decline of our athletic lives even with our later start but are pushing and striving to achieve things we never thought were attainable at this stage of the game. I looked around and watched the families of these young women snap pictures, give out hugs, and glow with pride and realized that we too were snapping pictures, hugging each other, and our families glowed with pride. All of this taking place in a tight, precise, well orchestrated evening which ended on schedule by 8:30 pm. It was, after all, a school night.