About a year or so ago, I thought it would be a great idea for HFA to apply to be a Charity Partner for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C. When we were selected, I was beyond excited. Running a marathon was on my bucket list. I know, really cliché, but true. It was a year or so away – plenty of time to train. Somehow it’s already here!! It’s go time! Everybody asks if I’m ready and I keep saying no. Am I ready? I don’t know. But I do know it’s been a long road and I’m really nervous.
Rewind to a couple of weeks ago when I picked Nick up after school to take him to his baseball game. Between school, baseball, basketball, a car ride equates to nap time for him. This particular afternoon he just didn’t seem himself. I thought he was just tired but I just couldn’t seem to let it go. I know I nag but I can’t help it. He just seemed off to me. Finally he let me know that he just felt off too. He had a tough day at school and just had some things weighing on his mind.
Those with teenagers will understand when I say that having a “real” conversation with them doesn’t happen often. For a few minutes though, he actually talked to me and shared with me how he was feeling. In what is a rare thing for him: he said he was not feeling that baseball game that day. He actually told me he wanted to go home. I told him that I was sorry to hear that but at the same time that wasn’t an option. He committed to his team and they were counting on him.
During the course of the conversation, I said, “Nick, do you really think I want to run this marathon?” And then I answered it for him. “NO!” He said, “So don’t. I replied, “Well it just doesn’t work that way. I’ve made a commitment and I’m sticking to it.” I told him what he had to do and what I was going to do: get out there and give it 110%. I didn’t care what happened, he was going to go give it his best effort and that was all I could ask for.
I was trying to recall a Chinese proverb to share with him. I didn’t get it exactly right but basically told him that the most success sometimes comes right after the toughest time. I think I needed to hear it as much as he did.
I knew at the start of the game it could go one way or the other. But I have to give him credit, he pulled it together, gave his best effort and had a good game. I don’t really think it had anything to do with my halfway right Chinese proverb but you never know.
What I really wanted to tell him when he asked me why I was doing the marathon if I really didn’t want to was: it’s because of YOU! What he doesn’t know is I’m trying to teach him about giving it your best effort and not quitting when in reality he’s been teaching me that since the day he was born. He’s never quit and I know he’s done things when he probably not only didn’t feel like it but when he was in pain. I’m trying to have half the determination and resilience that he has.
The marathon is about checking off this accomplishment on my bucket list but it’s so much more than that. It’s about me trying to be more like him. To keep going when I really don’t feel like it and push through when it starts to hurt.
Somehow over the course of the last 15 years, he has taught me more than I could ever imagine teaching him.
“The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”
Tracy, her husband, Lance, and son, Nick, (15-years-old) live in Virginia.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.