Health & Wellness

Colorado Health & Wellness | Spring 2016

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Page 14 of 67

Health and Wellness Magazine • 13 Most parents can relate to the scene. For kids, water presents an invitation for fun. For parents, it provides a medium for disaster. In the mother-daughter Franklin case, the feelings went beyond the norm. Franklin's mom holds a life-long fear of water, learning only swimming basics in her 30s, and wading into pools mostly for her daughter's sake. "Even to this day, she will not go into the ocean," Franklin says of her mother. "That really scares her. And so she didn't want me feeling like that." Her mom's mission was accomplished. Franklin, who became a four-time Gold medalist by age 17, loved the water from the start. "I mean, bath time was my favorite time as a baby. If you just got me wet, I was the happiest little kid ever," says Franklin, now 20, as she shared her childhood story amid the clanking cups and humming espresso machines of a Starbucks in Centennial, one of her regular neighborhood haunts. Her mother put Franklin in parent/infant swimming lessons at 6 months old with the intent of keeping her safe. Today, Franklin has joined the USA Swimming Foundation as an ambassador to boost its mission, one that mirrors that of her mother's. In a grainy family video taken by her father, a young Missy Franklin — decked out in short, pink overalls and a denim-blue bonnet — tosses leaves and sticks into a gurgling stream. Missy, mesmerized by the water, has her mother following her like a shadow, taking her eyes off of her toddler only once to flash a worried glance at her husband. Finally, Mom hooks her fingers through the back of Missy's overalls, easing her own tension, and preventing an unwanted nosedive by her daughter.

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