19.8.08

Day 4. The Loving One.

I had to write this one today since its been going on all around us - yes, over the past week, Michael Phelps has won 8 gold medals, broken goodness knows how many world records, inspired millions to get interested in swimming and become second only to a Russian gymnast in terms of total number of Olympic medals won. It goes without saying that he is driven, accomplished, determined and utterly deserving of all the praise he's getting and more. But that's not who I am writing about...

I would like to spotlight his mother today - Debbie Phelps. And yeah, I know she's getting a lot of press too...we're all learning the story, she's a single mother who raised her three children while working in education. We hear they hype. But, please, pause and really think about what this woman did. She worked as a school administrator (and hello we all know they aren't raking in the dough) while raising three kids and fostering their passion for swimming. She laid a foundation in each of their soul for them to weather taunting (Michael has been diagnosed as ADD and other diagnoses have been implied), seek greatness, understand the value of sacrifice and hard work, and has fostered one son to become one of the greatest athletes of all time. REALLY REALLY think about what that meant for her life...her energy...

And what sealed her for this post for me? The love. Oh the love...the moment that Michael had finally accomplished his goal and climbed into the stand to be with his family. The interview the next day with Bob Costas where they not only spoke about each other lovingly but also watched each other with love in their eyes. "Love" is an easy catch all here for the respect, trust, honor, that that mother-son love encompasses. Any any woman who can build that for, and with, her child deserves all the respect in the world. 

Yes Michael Phelps is a tremendous swimmer, and part of that is due to genetics. But more importantly he is a tremendous person and MOST of that is due to his mother, and her love. Cheers to you Debbie, thank you for what you have put out into the world - may you have every happiness.

post script: no I CAN'T link to the amazing footage becuz NBC decided Apple users don't need to be able to navigate their site. FTL.

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