Providence joined track this year. She's being pushed to new limits, and I'm so proud of her. She had her first meet this past week. I must admit to tearing up a bit as I cheered her on with each lap. Not sure what that was all about - other then the joy and strife that comes in seeing your child give it their all even when it's hard, and you can't just do it for them. One of Provi's events was the 1600 meter (AKA: a mile). For a beginner runner, this is HARD! (Heck, for seasoned runners, I hear the first mile is always the hardest!) She was thrown into the mix with 6th, 7th & 8th graders. The boy that came in first place lapped her. I'm fairly certain he's going to be in the Olympics this summer. With each lap, all I could do is encourage Provi to keep going...to just finish. I wasn't sure why this was my biggest source of encouragement, but it was. In the end, Provi came in last - BUT BUT BUT ... she finished!!!! I was so proud of her! She had a couple of other events that she needed to do after running the mile, but she was so tired - she just wanted to be quit. Same story.... I just encouraged her to finish. She finished her other events, and we were on our way with one tired 6th grade track star.
As we were riding in the car, I couldn't stop telling Providence how proud I was of her. She finally laughed, and said, "Why? I came in last." (The tears surfacing again.) I began to tell her a story that I don't think I've ever told anyone other than Aaron. And now I will make a fool of myself and tell my blog.
When I was in the 6th grade, I joined track. I was mostly interested in shot put (which Provi also chose!) and discus. (I was AWFUL at both.) We had to choose a running event as well, so I chose some puny sprint and also the 400 (one lap). You know...the least amount of running possible. Well, when it came time for our first meet, I took off like a bat out of hell on the 400. (Which still happened to be a very slow, tired & weak bat...but a bat none the less.) Half way through, I realized that everyone was way out in front of me. I remember feeling so embarrassed. I was going to be LAST ... and by a lot. So..... something in my brain decided that an injury would be better than finishing last. Next thing I know, I was on the ground. Yup, I faked an injury. I claimed my ankle gave out. I was sure it was sprained. I was escorted off the track and the nightmare was over.
Watching Provi run, I realized that there was no pride in my fake injury. No one ever regrets finishing, even if they come in last. But I wasn't there. I thought nothing could be worse than being last. Of course, my story was hilarious to Provi - and she has told everyone who will give her a chance to tell it. So there you have it, my secret is out.
Fast forward 20 some years later - and guess what? I'm giving this running thing a shot again. Only this time - I'm shooting for a half marathon, not just 400 meters. I've been training for 10 weeks (give or take), and the race is this coming Sunday. I must say, I'm really excited. I've learned a lot about myself through running, and will even admit - I LIKE running now. Providence said to me that running isn't her thing like it is mine - that it's hard. She was surprised to hear me tell her that running IS STILL NOT easy for me. I have to push myself every.single.time. But the feeling of just finishing has become such a source of accomplishment and joy for me. So in one week, I'll be running 13.1 miles. There will be no fake injuries, and hopefully no real ones.
Can you guess what my one goal is?
****Over the course of this
week, you're going to have to put up with my thoughts about running. I've come to realize a lot about myself through this running thing.****