Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Run your own race and run because you can

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.


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

That just made me tear up. I have twins. One had a brain tumor. As a result she had to learn to walk again and has many physical delays. Her gait is very different. She holds her arms high and is very unsteady but she tries to keep up with the other 3 year olds! I hope she follows in anna's footsteps and always has that type if determination!

Sarah said...

Anon - your comment made me tear up. It's sound like your daughter has already overcome so much already. Having a twin will help her.

Anonymous said...

Love this post. It's refreshing.

Jennifer said...

:) Go Anna!

Matt & Shana said...

Simple and great advice on this Thursday afternoon for me! Run.you.own.race Go Anna!!

Catherine said...

I, too, have six year old triplets. One of mine has a genetic condition that has impacted his growth and caused some developmental delays. He plays soccer with his brothers (who are typically developing) and some of their classmates. Before a session, when they run, he is always the last one to finish. However, he always has a big smile on his face when he does finish.

Cindy said...

This is great inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

Ashlee said...

I have run a few races where there was a real possibility that I would finish last, one I almost didn't start because everyone there was a "real" runner. I think some days I need an extra reminder to be "more like Anna" or at least not so scared to fail.

Rebecca said...

This was the best blog post I've read by anyone in a long time!!! Inspirational! Anna has so much to be proud of, as do you and Rich. You are raising 3 fabulous little girls!

I wish I could have been their to see Anna's smile!

Just the Tip said...

Needed this! Except Peyton isn't as accepting of being slow =(

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of Anna.
Love, Grammy

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. After I read this I kissed my 3 month old and told her "Don't be afraid to run. I'll be proud no matter where you finish." She just came out of her hip dysplasia harness last week. This is such an important message I don't think 3 months is too young to start!

Mama said...

Sweet Anna! I love this post. One of my twins had a stroke while in the womb and as a result has dystonia. Running a tennis court would be hard work for her too!