Sunday, August 31, 2014

Small Victories and Big Moments

I grew up in a household where parental bragging was frowned upon, so please excuse me while I do just that and share a
 "Proud Parent" moment. 
Last Saturday as we laced up our sneakers to run a race for the Maya Relief Foundation, Ty called to me from the other room, "Mom what is the prize if we win the race?" On autopilot, I started to answer, when he darted in the laundry room to stop me from saying a thing more, "Never mind" he said, "I don't want to know. Then I will be just… ya know, worried about the prize, and I just want to have fun and do my best." Well! that wasn't what I was expecting to come out of his mouth. This kind of talk wasn't foreign to my ears. It is something that John and I have been talking a lot about to eachother the past 2 years. Focusing on the journey and letting the outcome follow, but to hear your 7 year old adopt that kind of wisdom brought a little glow to my heart. 
And that's not even the best part of this little story, it actually comes full circle in more ways than one.
I lined up to begin the race with my three boys and dear friend Kayla who was visiting for the weekend from South Carolina. It was an out and back mile run, so when Ty (7) and Preston (5) ran ahead of me, and reluctant Grady (3), I wasn't too worried. We would eventually cross paths again. 
After my idea of doing a hand holding run with Grady went bad, and ended in him tripping, and me.. oops!, dragging him, for a very split second, I decided the jogger was going to have to due. Grady could shine in the following Diaper Dash. After the dragging episode and getting the new running method situated, no more than a minute passed when I saw the first young man running back at me toward the finish line. 
"Goodness gracious that kid is fast! He is in Middle School," I justified. Lots of energy right? 
A second behind middle schooler, another young man followed, and then another, only this time it's no middle schooler..., it's my little Ty. 
I thought my heart would burst! I was becoming emotional as I realized that my boy was doing something big. I silently cheered, "Don't give up Ty, keep going all the way!!" 
I caught up to Preston and was truly impressed by how hard he too was pushing himself. His method was: run as fast as you can, walk, if you see a peer gaining on you, run as fast as you can again, only this time, run into your peer until you eventually push him off the trail and get in front of him. Watching him zig zag across the dirt every which way, depending on where the opponent was that he needed to run in to, was slightly embarrassing but definitely more funny that anything. Somehow this actually worked for him, and he too took off and left me and my Grady filled jogger. We are't a competitive family at all…
As I neared the finish line, I saw Ty and Preston running back at me (I do realize it was only a mile, but I was taking the leisurely route). Ty took the stroller from me and pushed Grady through the finish line, as Preston proudly stated, "Ty took 3rd place!!
3rd place out of the boys in 16 and younger race!! Disclaimer: I can't say there were any 16 year olds running, but that's besides the point! I thought my heart would burst as everything came together for me with what he had said that morning about focussing on doing his best and not the outcome. About the fact that Ty shows traits of a perfectionist, which at times hinders him from stepping out of his comfort zone. You never know what you're capable of until you try. And what resonated for me, was that this small victory represented so much that our family learned through our experience in the NFL. You will most likely perform better when you can be present in the process, rather than focus on controlling the outcome.

I love how Preston wouldn't leave his side. 
Such a proud little Brother

But… even proud little brothers want medals too!
(for the record Ty did let Preston wear his medal for minute)

Diaper Dash race, which Ty placed 1st in after his big mile run. Grady ran the entire loop and was thrilled with himself! 

I love how this picture isn't in focus on Ty's face, but on all the little faces around him. They are like, "Who does this guy think he is? Wearing some jersey, getting medals!"
 Check out the guy on his left… I think Ty is on his list! 
Quick get that boy a medal! 

Just look at this little mug, orange residue and all! 
This is the face of a determined little guy!

And this girl made all these pics possible since I was with out my CAMERA GRRRRR!! Loved having my dear friend there to share in the moment! She was just as proud of the boys as I was, 
cheering, "It's Character Building Barb!"


  1. This was a perfect way to start our Saturday and end our week. Running for a cause makes running so much better. Being inspired by the tots was icing on the cake. Which brings me to wondering why any cake would ever be icingless

  2. This made me think of three things- 1) I'm so proud of Ty for his very mature outlook on the race! 2) I need to get online and look up 1 mile races so I can provide the opportunity for my boys to learn these things and 3) cool way so I can print it out and frame it on my wall..."You will most likely perform better when you can be present in the process, rather than focus on controlling the outcome." (I'm serious)

    1. Rach you are the best! and I know you will think of a fabulous way to put that saying into your decor, and seriously, thanks for taking time to read this