:Following his dreamsPosted: July 3, 2008
For years Rick, Nate and I could be found at a swimming pool about every other weekend. Some of you know this… Nate swam competitively, starting at 9 years old until he was cut from the University of Arizona swim team following his Junior year. He was a scholarship athlete, swimming with Olympic Champions and NCAA Champions. For several reasons, reasons that don’t matter in this story – or the big picture – Nate’s times didn’t improve much. Nate came back to Colorado to finish his degree (2009?? maybe!!). Nate has a passion for swimming as intense as my passion for Lhasa Apsos. He immediately transitioned to coaching, something for which he seems to have a talent.
Olympic trials are this week. Thanks to efforts in the past few years by USA Swimming – and don’t forget the current megastar Micheal Phelps! – more and more swimming is being televised, including this week’s trials. Our family has been glued to the TV each evening, watching many swimmers we know personally, many swimmers we’ve watched develop over the years, along with today’s crop of superstars.
Denton’s story is about following your own dreams no matter the superstars, no matter the endorsements some swimmers receive from Speedo and TYR, no matter the odds. Our Man Denton and Nate entered U of A together as freshmen. Denton and Nate remain friends. Denton was a walk-on at UA. He’d never done two-a-days. His speed increased, but he was never one of the superstars on the U of A swim team.
Several days ago, Rick and I received a package in the mail containing two t-shirts, along with this letter…
Here I am sitting on the stands of the portable pool in Omaha, Nebraska. The same pool that the Olympic Trials will be held. It is pretty crazy because the pool is inside a convention center made for ice hockey games.
As some of you may know, I recently qualified for Olympic Trials. What you many not know is that I created shirts for you (My Support Team). On June 30th you should wear the shirt with pride because I will be attempting to pull off the impossible and have the best swim of my life. If that happens in the morning and I move up enough in the rankings I will make semi-finals. After semis the goal is to make finals and swim with the big dogs of the sport. And if I place in the top 2 at trials and pull the upset that no one could ever truly imagine except me, I will be on my way to Beijing.
So on June 30th, wear your t-shirt with pride and tell your friends that you know someone competing in the Olympic trials. If I can toot my own horn it is quite an accomplishment especially for somebody who basically thought he was done a little over a year ago. Now I have the chance to be televised on NBC and to follow my dream.
Like Our Man Denton, follow your dreams!