The day didn’t start out so great. Wait, actually it did. Park was incredibly excited to race — his very first race — and literally screamed when he saw the start line. But then the mood changed when we had to pin his bib to his shirt. THINGS GOT REAL. The crowd noise was overwhelming and the atmosphere chaotic. And when you’ve just turned 3 and are 3 feet tall, well, that’s scary.
You know what else got really scary? Mommy.
That’s right, folks, I became THAT mom. The one that gets a bit pushy, then bribes with candy, cookies, toys… and then desperately searches for said items because of course they were forgotten. Oh and says things like, “Maybe just try one more time? Just once? For meeeeee?” Deplorable. So I sunk into a pit of despair and realized the $25 we paid just went out the window… but more importantly, his first race was over. O-V-E-R before it even started.
Good golly was I wrong.
I looked at Park and said, “Well, let’s at least go find your cousins and cheer THEM on”, and he couldn’t agree more. Whaaaaaat? So we found his cousin, Ella, and her Aunt BB, and he wanted to go see them. Literally. So in the shoot we went! The music started pumping, the crowds starting cheering and Park not only started his own dance party, but he FOUND HIS RACE MOJO. He heard the countdown, and off he took running. It the 7 year old corral, no less!
I figured after about 2 minutes we’d both pull to the side, stop, and go back to find our family. Was I wrong AGAIN. He ate every step up. In fact, as they let the next corral go 5 minutes later, he loved watching all the kiddos race past us and decided it was best to cheer them on too.
For the next 32+ minutes, he took rest breaks, walk breaks, stretch breaks, potty breaks (!) and cheer breaks. The only complaint was, “I very, very sweaty Mommy”! When I asked if he wanted to cut through the course like the other kids, he refused.
He wanted to go the whole dang way.
So we did. Together.
As he saw the finish line in the distance, he caught the eye of a police officer. This guy yelled out to him, put up his hand, and Park immediately ran over to high-five him.
I started to cry. I could tell he was simply so proud of what he was doing and even more so, having the best time ever doing it.
A few yards before the finish we found Daddy. Park sprinted towards him, not missing a beat, and so he joined us, running alongside the two of us to cross the line. This is the video he took… yes, Park raised his hands crossing the line and yes, Park. Kept. Running. After 1.2 miles he decided he wasn’t done! And he even refused his medal. He wanted to go until there was no more road in sight.
Wanna know something else really funny?
PROUDEST MOM MOMENT EVER.
Because here’s the deal with every race: SOMEBODY comes in last. And you know what? Last means they TRIED. It means they got out there. And it also means they finished what they started. That’s what this medal is all about.
He learned how to take his first steps when things got scary. And he showed me that the best way to do something really scary is to start by encouraging others FIRST.
THAT my friends, is how you have fun along the way… with every — albeit little — step.