|The Coop following a presentation he participated|
in as a "leader" in an all-school assembly.
In an impromptu car interview with Cooper I asked him what he’d like to do this summer before school starts up again. He didn’t take much time to mull over his reply.
- Ride 19 miles with Dad (he meant on his bike).
- Get smarter.
- Have a garage sale.
In case you don’t understand what this list tells you about Cooper, let me explain a few things. The boy is driven and truly believes he can do just about anything – except sing in front of people. He won’t do that.
When he made this proclamation I wasn’t even surprised. My only worry was that he would actually rope me into a garage sale.
Then I realized he intended to ride 19 miles on a starter bike that had no gears and a slightly taco-ed front wheel. You could say, Cooper had for all the days of his riding career done so at one speed and with great resistance.
We bought him a bike.
He has since shown us his tremendous fortitude and determination to not only set goals but also accomplish them. He begs his father nearly every weekend to take him on a bike ride. Each time they venture just a little farther. To date they have gone about 10 miles in one trip. He’s halfway to his goal. I know he’ll reach it because I know Cooper.
Everyone on his swim team does, too.
At a recent practice meet – the first one of the season is designed to test the equipment and be a dry run for volunteers and swimmers – he showed how much gumption he really has. Toward the end of the practice the college-aged coaches hopped up on the blocks for an expedition race. This is always fun and the “kids” do it just to show off to their swimmers. With no real expectation that anyone would volunteer the starter announced over the PA system, “Would anyone like to race the coaches?”
Cooper threw down his towel, scrambled to find his goggles and hopped up on the blocks alongside three very surprised, trim, able-bodied twenty-somethings. That got everyone’s attention. He swam a 50-meter breaststroke and he swam it legally. I walked down to cheer him on during his flip turn. He was smiling.
Of course everyone gave a hoot and a holler for his effort and the coaches stayed in the water to shake his hand following the race.
Now, wish me luck, because I have no intention of having a garage sale.