‘Forget it, lip!’

Sandra ClarkOur Town Youth

Raising kids is tough, and it’s especially hard to raise daughters to be strong and self-confident. That’s why this recent post by Kathleen Gibi is so special. We’re reprinting it with permission. Enjoy!

Our sweet girl had a rough start to the day. On her way walking into the Smoky Mountain Invitational swim meet, she tripped on a bad spot in the parking lot, splitting open her lip, chipping her tooth, scraping her face, tearing up her knee and taking a small chunk out of her toe.

Fortunately, it happened right beside the paramedics’ tent and, since it was an East Tennessee regional swim meet, there was a surgeon from Children’s Hospital there for his kid who was able to examine her.

She said she wanted to swim and since the doctor said she was clear to swim, we decided to let her compete!

This brave girl is tough. Her medley relay team won their heat in her first race of the day, with her swimming the butterfly stroke and her team shaving 8 seconds off of their best time!

She also finished 2nd in individual butterfly and 3rd in individual breast stroke (though everyone agreed she would have finished higher if her goggles hadn’t fallen off on her dive, her inability to see taking her off course a little bit). In her last event, her relay team won their heat in the freestyle relay.

I asked her if it hurt to swim and she said, “Only a little, but I just said ‘Forget it, lip!’ and kept swimming.”

We are so proud of her for going for what she wanted, sticking it out and not letting a scary moment keep her down. She did it all without whining or dramatizing anything. I know she was definitely hurting because she opted not to go on the water slide that she has enjoyed in between races every year prior at this swim meet.

Her placement tally today included two relay team heat 1st places, one heat 2nd place and one heat 3rd place at the biggest regional swim meet held in our area. Not bad for a kid who’s on the younger side of her age group this year and who had her mouth busted up this morning!

Though we never want our kids get hurt, these are the kinds of moments in sports when kids get the chance to learn about what they’re made of. We are so very, very proud!

Kathleen Gibi is executive director of Keep TN River Beautiful


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