Michael Phelps’ Secret… and What It Tells Us About Parenting

Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian in history. Winning 19 Olympic medals has made him — according to many — “the greatest Olympian ever”.

So what is Phelps’ secret?

Well, it could be his high-altitude sleeping chamber. But we think it has a lot to do with Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, and a somewhat strange coaching philosophy.

Getting Love Right – Even When it Goes Wrong.


Valentine’s Day and anniversaries are often viewed as a barometer for our romantic relationship.  But it’s NOT roses and romance a couple days a year that define a relationship — it’s the deep commitment to fight for connection no matter what.

— ROUND 1 —

Jim’s and my 25th anniversary evening was an adventure to say the least. It started out with 40 m.p.h. winds, which made our much-awaited evening on Lake Minnetonka more than a bit dicey in our little boat. We headed for land and made a wonderful camp fire.

Once we were finally settled, we asked each other this question: “What would be important in our relationship moving into our next 25 years?” And that led to some serious disagreement, our first in a long time. Tensions rose.

How could this be happening on our 25th anniversary night?! Why NOW!?

Raising Overcomers

Lying in the tent, during another in our long line of horrible weather Boundary Waters canoe trips, I was angry.

We had intentionally picked the “statistically best average weather week” of the summer. Ha. This time instead of droning drizzle, bone-chilling cold, or homicidal mosquitoes, we were pummeled by a ferocious, relentless wind that threatened to blow away our tents, and kept us trapped for four days on the same little island. (We learned later that the days of our canoe trip were the exact 4 days of record breaking continuous straight-line winds averaging 30-40 mph. At least it blew all the bugs away!)

The kids had been amazing through all of this, working hard and creating fun where there seemed to be none. But I was still frustrated. Like many of the writers of the psalms, I freely expressed my frustration at God. “Really? It’s been hot, sunny and calm most of the summer, and we get rotten weather! Again. Why?”