Today my oldest child had her physical fitness test looming over her head. As we drove to school I asked her about it. She said she was nervous because she could only run between 10-12 laps, while the fastest kid in her class could do 33 laps. She told me that with her short little legs, she just can't go as far as everyone else or as fast.
I told her a little story about her mommy. I asked if she remembered when I ran my first 10K. She did. I said, when I got to mile 5 of that 10K, I wanted to give up. I was running alone, I was hot and I was feeling defeated. I didn't stop running. Instead, I prayed, "God, give me wings to finish this race!" At mile 6, I was talking myself into walking across that finish line. I got to 6.1 and the guy holding the sign said, "You are ALMOST there!" I was near tears. I was ready to give up and just walk that last .1 -- but then I heard, "MOMMA!" I said to my daughter today, "Maegan, that was YOU calling out for me! YOU are the wings that God sent me that day and pushed me to go all the way to that finish line running!" If you don't know the whole story, when I heard her calling for me, I motioned for her to come join me on the course... she and her brother & sister came out and held my hands and ran with me to the finish line. It was one of the best moments of my entire life. I reminded her that with God, we can do ANYTHING we put our mind to, and He will see us through whatever it is.
I also told her one of my running tricks, when I think I can't go any farther. I said, "When you feel like you are ready to give up, don't give up, instead, make a little visual goal, find a spot on the course and say, I'll run to there. Once you get there, pick another spot and run to it and just keep doing this until your time is up." I told her she would be surprised at just how far she can go by accomplishing little goals and meeting them.
She told me her goal today is 15 laps. She also told me that she didn't want to be in the lowest level, so when she ran 12 she was happy to be in the 2nd level. I told her that I thought 15 was a great goal, it's 3 more laps than she has done previously and that with focus it is attainable, and to be happy when she hits that goal.
Bless her heart, she was still worried and said, "Mom, what if I don't make my goal?" My answer to that was simple. "You don't give yourself the option of not making your goal. You BELIEVE you can make that goal, and you don't doubt yourself. You set the goal of 15, you'll achieve the goal of 15. And no matter what, as long as you do your very best, you have nothing to be upset about."
As she got out of the car, I asked her if she was ready. She said yes and I said, "You can do this! I love you!!!"
I'm praying that she has the best run of her life today. I'm hoping she will one day learn to love running, not for exercise, but for the release of tension it provides, for the outlet it is, for the power it brings, for the confidence it builds. I'm so proud of her for talking to me about her fears. I was very fearful of the physical fitness test as a child. I was the fattest child in my class. My legs rubbed together when I ran and it HURT. I would be chaffed and have a difficult time walking once it was over. My poor thighs would just be burned raw. I was embarrassed. No, I was mortified. My friends would receive their presidential awards, and I would cry silent tears because I was too fat and out of shape to ever be good at anything. Her fears are different from my fears a little bit, but they are still very real fears. Her talking about them with me gives me a chance to lift her up, to build her confidence, to let her know I'm proud of her and that no award is going to make me love her more. Just knowing she did her best and is proud of herself is all that I ask and all that I need.
ROCK THAT TEST, MAEGIE!!! I adore you and KNOW that you can do whatever you put that amazing mind to! Never Give Up!!! GOD'S GOT YOU! GO BABY GO!!! Oh how I WISH I could be at that track today with a poster cheering on my baby girl! My heart is with her.