Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And... we're back

We (I) am finally back from our long vacation. Sounds glamorous doesn't it. Well, when I say vacation, I really just mean a state of mental nothingness. Nothing to blog about. Nothing really to say--those of you who know me probably find this hard to imagine. You're right. I have a lot to say, but none of it really pertained to our everyday Olympian, so I spared you the boring inner monologue of this everyday Olympic swim wife/PhD student/mom/fan of the #1 football team in the country.

That last tidbit is the focus of this post. Auburn (our Alma Mater and the school that I currently attend--our house is roughly .5 miles from campus!) won the BCS Football National Championship this week. It was glorious.

Before the game even began I found myself a little weepy. My dear friend and fellow Olympic swim wife, Heather, posted this link on her Facebook page. I clicked on it, started reading, and immediately started to get choked up. Why are people motivated to win? Who do they want to win for?

Sometimes I worry that Annabelle and I put pressure on our everyday Olympian. In 2009 I think the pressure was at an all time high. In 2009 we decided to move from Charlotte, NC back to Auburn. Mark was going to be leaving David Marsh (Mark had swam under David for almost a decade!), I was going to be quitting my job, and I was 5 months pregnant. We were living in constant change. Everything was changing--coaches, training style, homes and financial position (I was leaving my job to go back to school). We were stressed. Mark had a lot to prove that summer (mostly to himself). At nationals, as usual, Mark had to swim to a 1st or 2nd place finish to keep his paycheck and to qualify for the World Championships.

Mark swam into a 3rd place position in prelims. As you can imagine, I was nervous the entire afternoon until the finals session. Sick to my stomach, actually (this could have been the stress or the pregnancy--still not sure).

Mark walked out with the rest of the field before finals. He looked calm. His face was still. He looked different than usual. It was then that I realized he was swimming for me. He was swimming for our baby.

Now, I'm not saying that we are in the forefront of his thoughts before every race. But, in that moment, we were.

The end of the story goes something like this... Win. American Record. Fist pump. Crying. The end.

So, to return to my original intention for this post--Auburn won. When we did it (Win, that is), I looked to Mark and said, "Do you remember winning?"

Mark and I were both a part of National Championship teams in college.

After brief discussion, we determined that our new perspective of those wins is probably different than it was at the time. It has only been recently that we truly understand the beauty of an National Championship. It was perfection and we didn't quite realize it. I can't wait until those guys in pads and football jerseys realize the beauty of what they accomplished. It will hit them, like it has hit us, and they will remember it as perfection, too.

What do they say, "Youth is wasted on the young...." well, so are National Championships. What I would give to get to relive that moment. So, in an attempt to relive the glory days, here are a few pics.

For those of you uninterested in this trip down memory lane, don't worry. I'll return with our regularly scheduled programming of swimming info, professional athlete anecdotes, and other real life trials and tribulations of our everyday Olympian and his family soon (I promise). Until then... join me on this blast from the past.

Dropping our National Championship banners; 2003

Auburn Men celebrating at Toomer's Corner after NCAA's 2003

Auburn Women on the football field to receive National Championship rings; 2004

Mark claims that this is his favorite swimming memory.

Me with my diving coach, Jeff, at NCAA's; 2004

Singing the fight song after winning SEC's; 2004

Mark and I at our senior banquet (aren't we cute?); Auburn 2004


  1. Glory Days :) Would do it all over again if yall were with me. Keep it up Mark!!!

  2. In that SEC picture, why is it that I'm the only one who looks like I don't even know what's going on....? Intelligence personified. Love you!!! :) And I agree with Becks.