Junior swimmer’s embrace of ‘setback’ offers lesson

Junior Courtney Banwart sits swallowed in a red leather couch with a smile as she talks about one of her most challenging life experiences, an experience that holds a lesson for all of us as we embark on a new year of many resolutions, many possibilities and many setbacks.

In November of 2013, Banwart discovered she had an extra lumbar vertebrae in her back.

For most people, this diagnosis has little effect on their lives, being that this extra vertebrae only causes pain when extending often. However, Banwart is a full time swimmer, which requires her to fully extend through her back with each stroke.

All through the winter, Banwart practiced despite the pain until it became a hazard to her health. Quitting was never an option for Banwart, so she has been required to cut back drastically on her practice time, resting from February until August.

“It has taught me that it’s OK not to be the best right away. Sometimes things come up that are more important,” Banwart said

For Banwart, reprioritizing has been the key to the balance of her overall well being. What Banwart has learned can teach us a lot in the new year.

“We’re still so young. So if something doesn’t pan out like you want it to, it’s not the end of the world. Eventually this time will end, and we’ll move onto another time in our lives.”

The key to success looks different for everyone, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear. It does not exist solely in resolutions and lofty goals, but exists in every part of us, as those parts intertwine and create our jumbled yet beautiful lives.

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