As we were loitering around the parking lot pre-race a few weekends ago, I commented to Rich that I was going to get my butt kicked. I'm not the most athletic person, as in my hamstrings are basically nonexistent, and watching the other runners warm up was a bit intimating. I don't know why I was obsessing about comparing myself to others but I was. Rich told me to run my own race.
In the past, I've semi-jokingly stated that one of my goals when running a race is to not finish last. After watching the girls' tennis lesson a few weeks ago, I've been thinking that it really doesn't matter when you finish, as long as you finish. Run your own race.
At the beginning of the girls' tennis lesson, all the kids followed along with the instructors for some stretching and then they ran around the tennis court. There were six other kids there for lessons in addition to my kids. Four of them were older and took off first and finished ahead of the younger ones. My kids were at the back of the pack with two other younger girls. It was actually interesting to watch because their different personalities were apparent in this exercise. Allie passed one girl and was about to pass the other when they reached the end. She's very competitive and gave me a sly glance when she was finished. Emily's not as competitive so she simply ran with the others.
And then there's Anna. All the other kids were picking up their tennis rackets and Anna was still running the last length of the court. It's hard work for her, really hard work, and everyone was watching, waiting for her to finish. I remember when the doctors told us that she would most likely need some type of assistance to walk and here she is running on her own. Is she slow? Yes. Is her gait different? Yes. Does she care? No.
I wish you could have seen the smile on her face. She was so happy. It didn't matter that she was last. What mattered was that she was able to run. So there you have it - inspiration from a six year old.