Protein drink inhaled, hair French braided, race clothes on, and shoe laces tied, she bounded down the front stairs ready for the race.
At the race site she found her best friend (who was running with her dad) and a few other friends. All were excited; all anticipated a good run. Running on pure excitement and energy, she cartwheel, chatted, walked, paced, and anticipated 8:30 – race time.
The moment finally arrived. She lined up behind the line with her partner. The goal, finish in the top 10 from her group or best her time from the previous Monday. “I am just running for fun.” She reminded me minutes before she took her place.
The horn blew.
Tears filled the corners of my eyes. It is such a feeling to see a child doing what they love.
The race began!
While I made my way through the parking lot, contemplated getting a cup of copy, and finally found a place near the finish line, she ran.
She ran with her buddy up the hills and down a few. They ran across streets. At one point she broke away from her partner and started running on her own.
After 30 minutes and 25 seconds, my daughter crossed the finish line. She finished her first official 5K on a hilly course on a cool morning in May. She bested her personal time by 2 minutes. She ran strong throughout the race.
When the race finished, the times were calculated. She finished in the top 10 of her group – she finished in 5th place, missing a medal by seconds.
Talk about a happy kid!! Running for fun is that much more fun when you accomplish as much as she did!
What about mom? Mom was thrilled too! Thrilled that the race was over, thrilled that she made it and accomplished her realistic goals, and thrilled because the kid was so thrilled.
The story, however, was not complete.
After the dance performance later that afternoon, I discovered tat my daughter is someone who will continually amaze me. I had a chance to speak to the mother of my daughter’s best friend – the friend that ran with her dad earlier that morning. She told me the rest of the story.
After she ran her race, after she took a breath and a quick rest, my daughter ran back to finish the race with her best friend.