It’s not whether you win or lose; just be in the race!

track meet 2016 030

This week was an exciting week as Brody was invited to the first ‘Elite’ track meet in Knox County. With over 840 kids from all over the  county, Hardin Valley academy was packed with colorful team shirts and excited parents. We were surprised and excited enough that he’d made the track team, first of all. Then, we were shocked that he won first place in the qualifying meet of 12 small schools. It’s not like the kid has been practicing or really even cares for that matter!

He didn’t want to run in the Elite meet, originally. In fact, if it had been up to him, he would have opted out. He’s not the competitive athlete like many boys his age, and that’s ok with me. What’s not ok, though, is being given an opportunity or a gift and not using it. So, we encouraged him to do it with no expectations. He was nervous as he went up against the fastest boys in Knox county. There were 16 boys competing in the 100, a short race for the fastest kids. To make it to this race in itself is an honor (and, as I mentioned, a huge surprise considering the kid couldn’t run this time last year. In fact, he was in physical therapy working on not stepping on his toes and walking in a straight line. His biggest challenge one year ago was turning his neck.) And, now to look at him, you’d never know. What a blessing….

He placed 4th, barely, in the race. He ran his heart out and he was pale as a ghost afterwards with blood dripping out of his nose! (bad allergies lately!) His time placed him in the finals of the finals, the top 8 in all of Knox county! Again, he wasn’t thrilled about this and didn’t seem to understand how amazing even making to this point was. Maybe it’s the track girl in me, reliving some fun high school memories, but I was so nervous and excited for him.

Unfortunately, Brody’s nausea didn’t subside. It could have been nerves, combined with allergies, and I think it was. I pray it was. But, we left the meet before the final race. Ultimately, it was his choice and he wasn’t feeling it. So, we don’t know what place he would have come in. Not first, and I don’t think last either. We know he’s one of the fastest boys in Knox county. And, that’s enough.

That’s all I need to know. He was in the race. He is in the race, and he’s already won. These nausea symptoms have been happening too frequently lately, and he has much lower energy than his peers. So, Friday, we talked to the neurologist’s office and she wants to do an MRI a little earlier than expected.

Brody goes in Monday for a follow-up MRI. We were hoping to move to every 6 months, but this time, we will make it 4. This is what a brain tumor feels like. Unknowns, second-guessing, gratitude, and fear all wrapped up in one. I believe Brody is fine and these issues he’s been having with queasiness is probably, hopefully unrelated to his brain but there’s only one way to know for sure.

What I do know for certain is that in life, nothing is certain. Anything can happen. So, I live with the mantra that we choose to be grateful for what’s right ahead of us. We can’t waste time mourning what could have or should have been. (Or, we can and live miserably!) We don’t focus on winning the race but instead celebrate being in the race. When we have low expectations, we can be pleasantly surprised. When we have unrealistic expectations, we will continually be disappointed. In fact, I recently learned that having no expectations outside of ourselves is actually the most freeing way to live. Because that’s all we can really control or count on anyway!

Any long-term genuine success and motivation has to be internally founded anyway. You can talk ’til you’re blue in the face, but we can never control others. We only watch the race and hope they choose to be in it. We celebrate when others are in the same race (and want the same things we do)! And, we can choose to be happy with what God gives us. It doesn’t have to be first place. It can just be pushing on with what’s right ahead. And, that’s what I’m doing this week and from here on out, as a parent and person. Just being in the race, whatever your ‘race’ is, and doing your best is all we can really do.




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