Our daughter ran cross-country and track the year before she started high school.
From what I could tell, she had a good time doing it.
At that point in my postal career, I may have still been a relief driver…so I probably had some time that felt like mine.
I wasn’t working all the time yet.
I’d go to her meets…and I got to see her run.
I remember this one track meet that she ran in at her school.
The coach had her running in a couple of events…seems like she was running in the mile and two-mile races…maybe the 800 meter race, too. I guess the “mile” and “two-mile” races might have been 1500 and 3000 meter races….I don’t really remember.
I think that Zoe must share some of the same genetic material that I am made of.
She’s a good runner. Little and strong, she just keeps going.
I guess that I’m kind of like that, too.
She’s kind of an “upper middle of the pack” kind of runner….just like me, also.
I don’t remember any of her finish times or where she placed in the group. I don’t remember any trophies.
Like me, I don’t remember her winning any trophies.
I do remember this one race, though.
It was probably the 1500.
There were a couple of other schools participating, so I remember that it seemed like there were a lot of kids running in this race.
It was crowded.
I stood near the finish line on the track.
I could see the whole race from where I stood, but when the runners were on the other side of the oval, they were fairly far away.
Something happened that day, somebody must have tripped in the group, because from where I stood I could see that maybe a third of the 20 runners had fallen on the track.
You couldn’t see who it was that had fallen.
There were a lot of young girls down…some hurt.
We all watched from our side of the field to see what would happen.
And then one runner was up again and running.
I could see that it was Zoe.
I don’t know if it was only the adrenalin …or some kind of competitive spirit…or pride…or what it was that made her get up and keep running…but of all the girls who fell, she was the only one who got up and finished the race.
Scraped and bruised, she was the one who kept going.
Our children, hopefully, have achievements and victories in their lives.
Sometimes parents enjoy the achievements of their children because of how it reflects on the parents.
Kind of like a “See what I did? See what I made?” moment where we can show the world what our efforts produced.
On some level, the child shares the victory with the parent… sometimes.
That’s not always right.
Runners fell, one got up.
My daughter was the one who got up.
Getting up was her solitary victory.
I didn’t share it…it had nothing to do with me. I was watching from the sidelines. I wasn’t in the race. I can’t claim any credit for what happened.
I don’t remember Zoe winning any races.
I don’t think that I could be any prouder of her for being the one who got up.
We watch our children grow…and wonder “What’s going to happen when this one leaves the nest? What’s going to become of her? What’s going to become of him?”.
When our children “bounce back”…or get up when they’ve fallen…it helps us know that, no matter what happens, things have a shot at turning out alright.
Thanks for getting back up, Zoe. Thank you for that memory.