Vires Acquirit Eundo – She Gathers Strength As She Goes.

Vires Acquirit Eundo – She Gathers Strength As She Goes.

This weekend, my tiny and mighty daughter is channeling her inner warrior as she goes into her last competitive swim meet of the summer. She’s fresh off an incredible swim week in Oklahoma with 3x Olympic gold medalist Josh Davis where we were both inspired by his passion for his life and sport.

Over the week, she learned his Seven Habits of Highly Effective Athletes – swimming edition. It’s foundational and for all of us.

Finesse – body movement for swimmers, poise and grace for the rest of us.

Fitness – building physical muscle, power, strength for sport or grandkids or longevity.

Flexibility – stretch and strengthen your body and mind.

Fueling – are you fueling a Thrust SuperSonic or a Renault Twizy? Are you eating to live or living to eat?

Fun & Focus – cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Focus on the positive. Find your joy.

Family & Friends – adopt a servants heart. Cheer for your teammates, your coworkers, your friends. Love One Another.

Faith – Seek Truth. As my father did with his cadets, Build Spiritual Muscle.

Here is a clip and quote from Coach Josh talking to the kids at the beginning of each camp day:

“I want you to have energy to do what you were called to do to make the world a better place.”

Thursday. 11pm

Somewhere, Oklahoma.

We spend a lot of time in the car. Shout out to sports parents everywhere. I see you. I see you in the parking lot on your laptop trying to finish that report before the whistle blows. I see you sprinting through Target with replacement ballet shoes before the performance starts. I see you in line at Starbucks at 5:30am on your way to the field. I see you in the bleachers in a full flop-sweat in record heat. I see you.

Every Thursday, while doing the hour long drive to her biometrics lesson with the insanely talented coach, Kim Brackin, we listen to podcasts. Last year she discovered the show Ultimate Swimmer and this is where our love affair with Josh Davis and Noah Yanchulis began. Check it out here. They interview Olympians past and present, go over the latest times and breakout stars and talk about training and failure and success. They discuss hope and faith and life. Monday Motivations are our favorite. This is where we first heard about his Ultimate Swimmer swim camp. They’re a good team on the podcast but a GREAT team in the pool as coaches of the Oklahoma Christian University swim team.

We flew to Oklahoma on one of those airlines that costs the least but checked luggage will cost more than your first car, toilet paper isn’t included in your in-flight experience, you can only fly out on a particular Thursday and back in on a certain Friday at midnight of a full moon of the summer solstice.

We stayed in Edmond, a lovely bedroom community of Oklahoma City. The week we were there happened to coincide with the NCAA women’s softball World Series. The hotel lobby had all their tv’s fixed on the tournament. We shared the elevator with parents and grandparents in their collegiate gear and water bottles filled with what I imagine was a tad stronger. We shared the breakfast room with little brothers who decidedly stayed behind for Roblox over Home Runs. The difference is we saw them on our way IN at 9am. My tiny tot was at the pool by 6:30am, beginning the morning after we arrived, to get her practice in on the days leading up to the camp.

I want to be her when I grow up.

At the pool on Friday with the previous travel day’s mascara still clutching onto every lash, I sat in the corner of the pool deck and watched her swim lap after lap after lap. Towards the end, a gentleman walked by and nodded the nod of parental sacrifice. At the end of practice, he asked about my little swimmer. He was visiting, too. His son was entering his senior year at Oklahoma Christian University, swimming for Coach Josh and Noah, specializing in butterfly.

Elijah – Senior, Oklahoma Christian University

Then, he said something I hear all the time but never expected to hear on that day, in that pool, in the middle of Oklahoma.

He said,

“You look familiar…”

Noticing his clean shaven face and neat haircut I asked,

“Did you go to West Point?”

Yes, he did.

“What year did you graduate?”


“My father was your Chaplain,” I said – to which he replied……

“I finally get to meet Kathy Camp.”

It gets better.

This man, Brian Tung is now Chaplain Tung, still active duty currently serving at Ft Bragg.

He immediately introduced me to his son with the story of my father and his Moses staff on Bull Hill quoting, “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint….” Isaiah 40:31

Chaplain Tung, Kathy Camp and Elijah

And then I introduced both of them to my daughter. Chaplain Tung poured hope and peace into her and the legacy of God ordained relationships continues to the next generation.

At our little Sarasota Presbyterian Church, the Pastor ends the service with the same benediction. I hear it week after week but it had a new relevance now. He says,

“Wherever you go, God is sending you. Wherever you are, God has put you there. He has a purpose in you being there. Christ who dwells in you has something he wants to do through you where you are. Believe this.”

You are where you are supposed to be.

Believe this.

My tiny tot completed her swim camp and our Oklahoma adventure came to an end – for now.

This weekend she swims in her last meet of the summer before going off to other camps and other adventures.

Here’s my takeaway from this past year’s ten year old swimming adventure –

Enjoy the Journey.

Make your pursuits about the process, not the outcome.

Investors know it takes time to build a strong portfolio. Teachers know it takes decades to build a solid education. Cadets know you first need the lessons at Beast before you get to the summer at Buckner.

Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Be present today. Learn the lessons you’re meant to learn today.

Find joy in every day, in the little things, in the mundane. Find the joy in the journey.

Whatever harvest comes from her journey will have been planted with seeds of perseverance and discipline.

That will reap the greatest reward.

Run to win.

3x Olympic Gold Medal winner Josh Davis

One thought on “Vires Acquirit Eundo – She Gathers Strength As She Goes.

  1. Oh, Kathy, this is so special. Your daughter is amazing. Our West Point ties are all around. Thank you for sharing and building us up. “Spiritual muscle.”

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