chapter books: dreams
If you love sports, like swimming, you may have heard of Kathleen Baker. She could write amazing chapter books about her life so far, although she’s still a teenager. What makes Kathleen special? She’s determined to follow her dreams. When Kathleen was just eleven years-old she watched the Olympics in China. She was completely mesmerized by it. She never wanted to leave the TV screen. Finally, her Dad said, “Kathleen, it’s OK, it’s a commercial,” her father Norris would say, but she just sat there, frozen, mesmerized, hungry — and it didn’t matter the sport. Gymnastics. Track. Fencing. Her sport, swimming. Didn’t matter. She needed to breathe it all in. This was her future.”
Kathleen Baker believes in a great work ethic. She knows those who worked the hardest get the rewards. Here’s what her coaches said:”Baker swam constantly… and joyfully. That joyful part was what separated her. He continued, ” Her gift is that unceasing eagerness. Every swimmer has days when they show up at the pool feeling sluggish or cranky or generally uninterested — but not Kathleen. Every day was a thrilling chance to get just a little closer to the Olympics. She swims all four strokes with enthusiasm and verve; practice always ends too soon for her. From the beginning, she never doubted her destiny.”
But something happened that could have derailed Kathleen’s big dream of becoming an Olympian. She got Chron’s Disease, a chronic intestinal disorder. One thing affecting this sickness is stress. It took quite a while to find effective treatment for her. It took time to find a successful treatment plan for Kathleen, but now the disease is in remission. Here’s what Kathleen said about her disease:
“As a kid,” she said, “I didn’t have someone to look up to in the Crohn’s world. I remember Googling it and saying, ‘Wow, there are no good stories out there.’ And I really want to be that inspirational story for little kids, someone they can look up to along the way. … I will always tell them that you need to surround yourself with people to believe in you, because I have certainly had that.”
Today I saw Kathleen swim at the Olympics. Not only did she qualify, but she had the fastest time in her group. Congratulations, Kathleen, on following your dreams. Best wishes, I hope you’re a medal winner. You certainly have earned it. No matter what, you should be proud of your amazing journey.
If you like chapter books about living your dreams, you may enjoy my award-winning story, Tails of Sweetbrier. I had a different challenge than Kathleen Baker, but like her, there were disappointments and victories along the way. Perhaps she will choose to inspire children with her wonderful life story of the way she pursued her dreams, against the odds. I love writing chapter books to inspire you to be your best and reach for your dreams.
*an update: Kathleen Baker has won a silver medal in the Rio Olympics, plus a gold medal the relay race. Congratulations to Kathleen and the team.
*To find out more about Kathleen Baker’s story, please click this link: