Graduation has come.
Plans have been set in motion. Futures are being anticipated. And the challenges of life’s next chapters patiently await the class of 2014.
There are so many stalwarts that represent this group in our community. In time, I am sure some of their stories will be told as well.
But for now, there is one that I am sure is poised to take that leap of faith and land right on her feet like she always does. Well, most of the time.
One that is sure to raise the bar at UW Milwaukee, where she plans to pursue a course of study in architecture.
Heck, with the foundation of excellence she has built for herself thus far, this one can probably do it with her eyes closed.
Now there are gems.
And then, there are gems like Monica.
A true rarity.
In an age of athletic specialization, the true multisport, all-around sportswoman has been rendered all but extinct.
And that is a shame.
For you have a whole life to be lived in this very moment – as well as the one that waits in front of you.
Opportunities to venture down as many different paths as you choose and to face all the adventure you can handle.
In due course, if you stick with it, those roads will lead you to find the one thing that truly trips your trigger.
But until then, you should honor both your depth and your breadth.
You should do everything you can and you want, finding the joy that exists in all of it.
And more importantly, you should do it all with great abandon.
Sort of like the little dynamo on the right. (Her cohort there on the other side ain’t so shabby either.)
Over the last four years at Homestead, Miss Caputa has done just that.
Everything she could and would with great abandon.
For each of the last four autumns, she has been a valued member of the Highlander girl’s volleyball team, helping them reach regional play each season, as an outside hitter.
Then, just as fall was changing into winter outdoors, Monica was busy making preparations to change into some thing else indoors.
Over the past four winters, Monica traded her volley ball sneakers for a leotard, and helped make the Highlander gymnastics team – and program – one of the most respected in the state.
For each of her four years as a Highlander gymnast, Monica helped her team qualify for the WIAA state tournament. On top of that achievement, she also qualified as an individual in vault both her sophomore and junior year.
Then, just as the snow and ice should have begun to recede in Wisconsin (“should have”), on went the singlet, and Monica was again ready for another season as a member of the Highlander girl’s track team.
As a freshman, she made great leaps and bounds. In fact all the way to La Crosse for the state meet as a long jumper. The following season, she found her self in a familiar place – La Crosse – but in a different event – triple jump.
As a junior, she must have felt a yearning to return to her roots, qualifying for the long jump again. And in a fitting conclusion of her distinguished athletic career, Monica completed the “fourfecta” and headed back to La Crosse as a senior to compete in another event – the high jump.
There is more.
An invitation to participate in the Senior Spotlight Track Meet led Monica, “E” and Blake Leeson south on I94 to compete with other high school senior tracksters from the region.
And once again, doing what she does best – everything she wants – Monica took a 4th in the high jump, 1st in the triple jump and a 2nd in the long jump. A decent effort for one afternoon of work if I do say so myself.
Quite the athletic resume she has managed to assemble over the last four years.
Volleyball. Gymnastics. Track.
10 trips to state.
Not too many around that have done that.
Accolades and achievements on the floor, mat and track aside, Monica is far more than just that.
She proved herself an all-academic before being all-athletic. She earned her spot in the National Honor Society and graduated just last weekend with high honors. Some invaluable momentum for this fall when she lays the foundation for her architecture studies as a freshman at UWM.
In her spare time, Monica has also found a way to be there for others. She has participated in Best Buddies and helped Mrs. Godfrey with her special education gym class. One gets the sense that Monica understands that there is as much joy to be found in mentoring, teaching and coaching others as there is in the “doing”.
One also gets the sense that she has been able to find the joy that can only be found in living a life engaged in a pursuit of excellence. As Mr. Aristotle once put it:
“There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellence that we can achieve as human beings. That is, we can live our lives as a whole in such a way that they can be judged not just as excellent in this respect or in that occupation, but as excellent, period. Only when we develop our truly human capacities sufficiently to achieve this human excellence will we have lives blessed with happiness.”
Just to be.
Maybe Miss Caputa will find another path, and will seek to find more and different challenges. That remains to be seen.
But she sure seems to be well on her way to a life blessed with happiness.
Doing what she does best.
Everything she wants.