This week’s theme is … Salute to Running Moms. With Mother’s Day around the corner, we thought it would be great to have you talk about a running mom who inspires you, makes you laugh, kicks you in the butt when you need it, coaches you, runs with you, brings you water, or just simply runs.
When I was in elementary school our gym teacher held an annual Track and Field Day. It was marketed like a big fun day, and at times I am sure I did have fun, but it was serious competition. It went something like this: there was something like 10 events. Every kid got to do the water balloon toss and then each kid had to pick 3 or 4 other events to participate in. Some were partnered events and some were individual and they ranged from 3-legged race to obstacle course to long jumps to running races. Some kids were so mortified by the idea (or their parents didn’t want to even risk them being mortified in the first place) that they didn’t show up for school that day. I always showed up, I always tried. Showing up and trying wasn’t good enough but they never forgot to thank me for participating with their stupid participation ribbon that was given out to make us feel better. It never made me feel better. All it did for me was make me feel like crap. But there was always one person to make me feel better and that person is my Mom. My mom has always been my biggest fan.
There was this one particular Track and Field Day when I decided to participate in one of the runs. I HATED running and Iwas BAD at it, so why I picked the 400meter event is beyond me even today. But I did. And I went out there and ran my little heart out. And I beat a few kids too. And my mom was at that finish line similing so big and cheering for me so loud- she was so proud of me! And when I crossed that finish line she picked me up and spun me around. AND THEN…this douchebag dad comes over to ruin the moment and says to my mom “She didn’t win Janie!” as if we were confused or something. My mom simply replied, very straight faced, “yes she did, yes she did!”.
That story is an example of why I am the way I am today and why I think like I do about racing. My mom, by always thinking me a winner no matter what my time/place was, made me realize what it meant to try regardless of the outcome. She taught me that the participation ribbon did mean something. Finishing is Winning started with my mom and she is why I now happily accept participation ribbons, medals and etc.
My mom has always been my biggest fan…no matter what it is I am doing, she is there. She makes every effort to be at all my races; she has stood in the brutal heat, freezing cold and pouring rain, just to watch me cross a finish line. My mom instilled a sense of value in me that had nothing to do with medals and everything to do with self-worth. She is always there with words of motivation and a good kick in the butt if I get too down on myself. In her eyes I am always a winner
*note: I really hope they do this for Fathers Day as well so I can share how much I love my Dad too