Run For Your Life

Let me tell you a little story, about a girl who has been afraid...

This girl is a talented, not so little girl, she is shy, afraid to be embarrassed, looked at and seen.  She is orderly and strives for perfection.  She doesn't like to mess up, she doesn't like competition, she doesn't like new things!  She has been afraid.  Fear has kept her from trying, from being involved, from growing and stretching.

We have encouraged, pushed, forced, given up, bribed... all of her life!

Try something, anything!

She has chosen to stay where she is, fear has kept her there.

This summer, for a few life changing minutes, that girl disappeared.  She was gone, vanished.

As this girl ran, raced as fast as she could, the girl who was afraid was no where to be found.

In her place was a girl full of self confidence, accomplishment, purpose, drive and pride.  There was a sparkle in her eyes and a hunger in her soul.  It brought tears to my eyes.

As people who love her, encouraged, shouted, cheered and yelled for her she kept on running.  They asked her why she doesn't do track?  She is so fast!  They kept cheering, and I kept smiling and crying!  Look at the hunger in her face!  Who is that girl? 

Even though her older, track star cousin, beat her across the finish line, this girl held her head high!  There was no 'failure', no 'loser', only happiness.

As she floated over to me, and I wiped the tears from my eyes I explained something to her...  

I love running, we know this.  I was not crying because this girl is good at running, or is great at something I too love.  I was crying because this is what I want for her.  This is something I haven't been able to give her... passion, hunger, something to strive for, a giant push from inside.  Running just gave that to her, and it transformed her!  Thank you running!  

I told her how proud I was of her, not just because she rocked it, and kicked butt, but because she took a chance, she let fear sit on the sideline for a minute while she ran for her life.  I asked her to please consider, again, getting involved in track, hoping this girl would take the chance the other girl won't take.  She is so talented!!!  She said she would think about it...  She is still afraid to compete, to be seen, to be pushed, to be uncomfortable.  

BUT, that girl who showed up that day has stuck around, she is slowly finding her place next to and with the girl who is afraid.  I welcome her with open, loving, excited arms!

Morals of this story = running is a really great thing!  taking chances can pay off; growing up takes time and lots of different experiences; running is in her blood; fear can steal so many opportunities that are good for us; there are just some things kids have to find on their own, that we can't give them as parents; parent pride isn't always about what a child has accomplished, but about what they have discovered in themselves.