Sunday, May 1, 2011

Registration Recognition

I'm not sure about the other athletes, but this is a big deal to me. For the most part, the majority of the other 24 athletes that made the Parapan Am Team are used to this. They have done this before. Some, I suspect, were even unhappy that they didn't make a better selection team. However, for me, this is beyond what I ever thought imaginable for myself.

In order to officially be a part of the team, each one of us is to register online with the USOC directly for the event. Being the neurotic and carefully planned out soul that I am, I had to get it done quick. Am I worried that they are going to reject my team nomination? Perhaps. Am I concerned that it is more involved than it appears and it will actually take me going to get a new passport or searching for a notary or participating in a scavenger hunt of sorts for specific signatures? Maybe. The safest bet is that I am just neurotic and like things done as soon as I can muster the energy to do them. Otherwise, who knows what could happen, right?!

So as it was, I spent no less than five hours trying to finagle the exact dimensions of a required head shot photo. No smile. White background. 50-512 kB. 35mm x 45mm.... Students couldn't help me, Kinko's couldn't help me; so I spent the better half of my days after school last week cursing at my computer screen. Once that was finally set, I sat down at a cafe to complete the rest.

Much to my chagrin, I had forgotten to figure out my physical measurements in the privacy of my own home. So, with measuring tape in hand, I proceeded to measure hips and waist and inseam and sleeve length and chest right there, sitting at the local Starbucks. Measurements in tow, I was now completely and finally ready.

The whole registration process was supposed to take about half an hour, so said the directions. It took me well over two, no surprise. I wanted to be precise. I wanted to make sure that I made no errors-- especially since I am extremely prone to such specifically when one is NOT supposed to make errors (ie. flight bookings). I wanted to make sure that my answers were the best possible reflection of who I am as a swimmer and as an individual.

Questions ranged from high school accolades to superstitions. I wrote out family contacts and history. I typed up answers about what makes me unique. I produced lists of music that I listen to and facts that no one knows about me.

The most remarkable part about this entire registration process, was surprisingly not the fact that it was so thorough nor random; but rather the fact that I kept encouraging and reminding myself that this is the biggest thing that I have ever known for me thus far.

It is big, not in the sense of competition or even sport, but for the sense that 10 months ago I made a promise to myself to try my best and enjoy the ride. There I sat, at a little cafe table covered in paperwork, my laptop, a giant latte drink, inconspicuous measuring tape, and a smile registering for a event that displays with undoubted clarity, the amount of work and care and love that I have put into this part of my life for the past 10 months.

I still remember that day that I made that promise to myself. I was making secret trips to swim while on doctor prescribed bed rest. Swimming was the only thing that could fill my heart at that point and, for the first time ever, my brain recognized it too...

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing blog! I admire your passion and love for the sport! It's going to take you far!!