What a joy to be here to enjoy the moment with Payton. As I've watched her these last two weeks, I've pondered on my dedication, determination and drive for my passion––knowing and serving God.
I think this letter from her coach paints the picture of her love for the sport and how hard she works to reach her goals. Below is the letter from her wonderful coach.
It's with great pleasure that I congratulate you on competing at this year's Junior Olympic Championships! I'm so proud of you! Your hard work and dedication to practice has helped you accomplish such an awesome goal!!! I remember talking with your last coach about moving you up. It took you a couple days to be comfortable enough to try working out for me. :-) Once you started swimming for me, you've been unstoppable. Pushing yourself to beat the Seniors in the group. You are not only a great swimmer, but I think you're an awesome kid. Thank you for always coming to practice ready to learn, and most importantly thank you always for coming to practice ready to do your very best.
When I reflect back on your journey to get to Junior Olympics, the first thought that comes to mind is just how TOUGH you are. After your foot injury, it would have been easy to come back to practice and not push yourself. You did the opposite. You felt you were just as fast as you ever were and confidence showed. I've watched as you tackled long course training like a champion. At nine years old you stepped up and tackled double practices this summer!! I want you to know that it's that type of dedication that helped you earn your Junior Olympic times. Do you realize you will be attending the next 4 Junior Olympic championships?!! That's HUGE Payton. I hope that you are proud of your accomplishment.
This weekend I want you to enjoy yourself. Make sure that you swim with confidence/Swag and most importantly relax and have fun. This is why we've been training so hard. So you have the confidence to go out and KILL it. Congratulations on a wonderful 2013 Long Course season of swimming. I look forward to watching you accomplish even more at the next championships!! Go PAYTON!!
Coach ( name withheld for privacy reasons)
Wow! Payton has spurred me on to living a life that is that dedicated, determined and driven for God––to do the best I can do for Him! So one day I will hear Him say, well done, good job, you finished the race! 1Corinthians 9:24b "Run in such a way as to get the prize." (NIV)
Grammie is so proud of you Payton! Grampie too!