This is the first time in over 3 years that my athlete isn't running. She gave it up. Last May, to be exact. It was not a decision she made lightly. It took time. Lots of it. Now, she no longer runs 50 miles a week and I no longer get to whine about cross country meets in September.
She struggled with this choice. She asked my opinion, and I gave her the opposite of what she wanted to hear. And she knew there would be backlash from her friends. But, she kept at it anyway. She thought about her life and what direction she wanted it to travel. She really thought about it. And then she overdosed on prayer.
And all the while, I stood on the side, and let her make the decision. I watched her battle with the choice. I listened as she explained what she wanted to do with her future. I tried to point out ALL the things she should think about. And she did.
So, my runner put away her running shoes. And she set her focus on music and singing and theater. And with her choice, she has found peace. She has found her passion. And it is remarkable to see.
I'm in awe of her courage. Because, she did this on her own. It wasn't the choice her parents thought she should make. It was simply the choice her heart told her to make. It takes a great amount of courage to take stock of where you are and correct your path to where you want to be.
I think I had forgotten what courage looks like. I'm always too caught up in just getting from day to day. I can't even remember the last time I closely examined my own path and where it's headed. Realistically, I feel too tired to even begin thoughts down that road. But I should. We all should.
Because courage is often quiet. It helps you really admit what you want for the future, not just what you want right now. And then courage gives you the permission to change. No matter how big or small. It lets you focus your sights and move. It lets you step off the track, even when everyone around you thinks you should stay on.
Take courage today, this week, this month. Take it and hold it. Get used to it's weight. And then use it. Maybe you won't find anything you want to do differently. But then again, maybe you will. If a 16 year old high school junior is brave enough to give courage a try, I think I just might find a way to do the same.
A lesson from my Sam: