My daughter Mina gives me daily inspiration with her persistence and perseverance in her quest for excellence as a runner. It’s the first sport she’s really taken seriously since introducing her to various athletic activities since she was a wee one. She’s been running track since fourth grade and started running cross country in sixth grade. That year she proclaimed, “I run for the Lord.”
Mina likes to arrive on time or early for practice. She focuses on warming up and stretching properly before the race. When she finishes a cross country race, she stands at the finish line, and high fives other runners when they reach it, smiling and saying, “Good job, good job!” even if they are from an opposing team.
About a year ago, Mina starting having stomach upset when running. Her coaches, my husband, and I couldn’t figure out why it happened. She would throw up before, during, and after running, whether or not she ate or drank water. Nonetheless, she continued to show up at practice and races, and kept running. I took her to our family doctor, who examined her, gave her blood tests, and found nothing wrong.
One time she started vomiting in the middle of a 1600 meter race. She was embarrassed, and I feared that she would give up her beloved sport, just as she was starting to blossom as an athlete. This past fall, she had an upset stomach right before a cross country race. Her coach and I encouraged her to run anyhow, and she finished well.
I started research info on sports-induced vomiting and found out it was quite common. A friend told me her stepson used to have the same problem when he played football. (There’s even an article on the “Top 10 Vomiting Moments in Sports History”). Mina pressed on, continued to practice, race, persisted, and persevered. A few times she complained, but she didn’t give up.
Now that she’s a bit older, the spontaneous upchucks occur less frequently. This Saturday, she placed third in the 400 meter race (and promptly puked after finishing). Afterwards, she participated in the long jump as well as a scramble race with her team.
Lots of kids would have given up years ago at the first sign of nausea. Not Mina! After all, it’s much easier to stay home and play X-Box and watch the Kartrashians on TV.
It’s not just my kiddo who inspires me– it’s the fact that at every track meet I’ve been to, at every cross country race I’ve stood out in the rain– every single kid who starts the race FINISHES the race. No matter if they dash first across the finish line or if they are huffing and puffing and straggle last over the line, EVERY CHILD presses on to the finish line.
Now if most adults were to do that, they would give up after the first 30 seconds of running (probably since they haven’t exercised since high school). On a bigger level, though, how many goals and dreams do most people leave behind in life’s race? Or how often do people give up on something because part of the race is “too hard,” boring, or scary? Perhaps they are overcome with fear, procrastination, distraction, or lack of consistency so they fall off the racetrack and forget about their goals. Has that ever happened to you?
If you don’t feel inspired, or don’t believe in yourself, borrow mine- I am happy to share with you! Find a source of daily inspiration.
Through God’s intervention, my daughter’s devotion to running, faith, and continuous pursuit of athletic goals grant me daily inspiration. For this I am grateful and love her evermore, and I pray that her divine dedication will continue for may years.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.- 2 Timothy 4:7