I just spent my weekend at the Nevada High School Track and Field State Championships in Las Vegas watching our North Tahoe Lakers compete. And it got me to thinking. I know, dangerous, but bear with me. My oldest daughter is a senior. It's been a year of lasts for her. Next year will be a year of firsts. But this was her final chance to win a state championship in track. She's had a lot of victories over the last four years, but no gold at state.
The meet began with the boys 4 X 800 relay. The first three boys on our team gave our anchor leg a fighting chance. James, a senior, took the baton and poured his heart into running the race of his life, coming from behind. It was dead even at the finish line, and everyone held their breath to hear the announcer. Our boys won by four thousandths of a second! Can't get much closer than that. The same thing happened in the girls 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 races. The first three girls ran hard, gave the baton to Ally, a senior, and she ran faster than I've ever seen her run from behind to squeak out a victory at the line. I'd have to say there's something about being a senior, knowing it's your last race, that pushes you past your limits to succeed.
So, back to Tara. She's a distance runner, and the 800 is not her race. She gave it her best shot, though, and ran a PR and got the bronze medal. In the 1600 she had a chance at victory. She ran a PR, but the girl she was running against was also a senior. She took the gold, and Tara got the silver. The 3200 was the final race of the night on Friday. The stands were mostly empty by 9:30 when the gun went off. Tara started fast with her main competitor running side by side with her for the first three laps. On the fourth lap, Tara sped up and started pulling away. Her pace was fast, and she had four and a half more laps to go. We help our breaths, hoping she wouldn't burn out before the finish. She didn't. She ran the race of her life, a huge PR, and won the race by a long margin--getting that coveted gold. Three PRs and a trifecta of medals. Not a bad way to end a high school running career.
So, how can we apply this senior drive to our every day lives? As writers, do we put our best work forward every time we sit down at the computer? Or are we too busy thinking about the next book to focus on achieving our absolute best with each word we write? In our personal lives, do we get the most out of our day, living it like it was our last? Or are we just marking time? Maybe we can't have that burning drive each day. Maybe it simply isn't possible. But from now on, I'm going to try a little harder to make each book I write my very best. To enjoy the moments in life that I don't always stop to appreciate. That's what I took away from this weekend.
Maybe good things do come in threes. I hope so with my new series. Every Move She Makes is available now, on sale for only 99 cents. Every Step She Takes can be pre-ordered now and releases in July. Every Vow She Breaks will round out my series early in 2016.