Sunday, July 11, 2010

Finish the race like you're in first place

Today I am 26.

Favorite thing from my birthday. At Grandfather Mountain they have kilted runs for all ages. Our tent was in the inside row and we had a great view of the runners as they finished up the last quarter or so of their race. Suzi cheered. "Go! Go! Go!" and, for those who seemed discouraged, "You can do it!" One boy, perhaps eight or nine years old, was in last place by a considerable margin and the race was close enough to finished that his fate was sealed. Last! Last! Everyone dreads it, avoids it at all costs. I have lived it a few too many times, particularly in footraces. But this little boy, long since passed by a cluster of his speedy peers, turned to the tents, smiled and waved to the small crowd who cheered him on. Refusing to tuck his head in defeat, like the others, as he trotted out the final few yards. Refusing to apologize for trying. He just smiled and waved like that, as if in celebration, until he finally rounded the corner.

I don't have a picture of him, but I will tuck this little memory away like a snapshot.


Anonymous said...

So. Awesome. I don't think any of us should ever have to apologize for trying. I'm so glad that boy figured that out already.

Lauren Wayne said...

That's beautiful! What a great image.

Happy birthday!