Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Plant

When I won my first big international race in London 2010, the Canadian Olympic Committee sent a plant to my house in Edmonton.  “Congratulations on winning the triathlon!” said a little piece of paper perched inside.  It was a subtle gesture but it made a big impact on me. It was the first time that I thought “Hey, maybe I could actually make it to the Olympics one day!” The COC had recognized my performance, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. The plant soaked up the sun on the kitchen windowsill while I was busy racing around the world, and my mom watered it every day. Keeping the dream alive.

Two years later, I made it to the start line at the Olympics. Lots happened between that breakthrough race in 2010 and getting to London in 2012. Some great things and some terrible. The plant lived through it all. Serving as a reminder that someone believed in me, representing an Olympic dream, and being a nice thing to look at in the window.

After several years of sitting in the kitchen, the plant had become a part of the house. One of those things you don’t really notice every day because it’s always there. But yesterday morning, I went down for breakfast and there was a big empty space on the windowsill.

“Daaaaadddddd where's the plant?!”

“I threw it out. That thing’s been dying for like 11 months. Plants don’t live forever.”

My dad likes to throw out everything that doesn’t have a clear function, without even asking. It’s annoying. 

I pretended to be cool with it. That plant had a pretty good life. I’m not generally a superstitious person, but I couldn’t help being a little superstitious at the whole situation. This plant, that somehow represented my Olympic dream and triathlon ambitions, was dead and gone.

“It’s a good thing! It hasn’t exactly done you any favors these past few years.” My dad kindly reminded me.

He’s totally right. Even though it’s a little sad to see it gone, I think the luckiness that it once had as a baby plant had run it’s course.

Time for a new plant. Comeback 2014 starts yesterday.