A dream in the making | Guest column by Heather Harper
July 3, 2012 · 1:39 PM
Everyone has dreams.
A wish, a hope — something that keeps you going. It can be a thought that haunts you at night and a passion that lights the fire in the darkest of days.
Those dreams can bring a clarity to life; some sort of purpose that you didn’t have before. But the crazy thing about dreams is that people spend exponentially more time working towards attaining them rather than actually living the dream.
It astonishes me when I realize the amount of time you can spend working towards something — a day, an event, a moment in time. And, far too quickly, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.
I have always been a breaststroker. I know it by heart, both long course and short course. It has always been the one event closest to my heart because it has been the race in which I have achieved some of my greatest dreams and felt some of my deepest heartbreaks. And, on June 26, 2012, my lifelong dream of competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials finally came true in the 100-meter breaststroke.
My coach has told me in all of my hardest days, “It is about the journey, not the destination.”
After last week, I can see how incredibly true it is.
I spent almost a decade of dreaming and working towards that 1-minute, 12-second period of time on June 26, 2012. There is no way my entire world can be built around that race because how could I have ever achieved that without the years of training and countless moments of pain, tears, and joy?
There is no way I can spend so much time focusing on it because, far too quickly, it will be over. If you spend your entire existence focusing on one moment, you miss out on millions of moments that are worth far more.
I swam and competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials. I will forever be able to say that. Yet, when I think about that meet, my 1-minute, 12-second race will only be a small part of what I remember.
I will remember the times my coach told me it was going to be okay and I pushed through one more set, one more day.
I will remember spending the week with my teammates and coaches, living in the lights because it was all of our first time.
I will remember the people I love who traveled all the way to Omaha, Neb. just to see me race for one minute; the ones who were there in the toughest times before and will be there after the lights die down.
I will remember living in the dream for a moment but I will also remember the many years it took to get there. Because those are the moments that make the dream come true.
Redmond native Heather Harper will be a sophomore at Boise State University and recently swam at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She is back in Redmond visiting family and friends before she heads back to Boise State in August.