Shifting goals

I am scheduled to run a 5K next weekend. Well, I could run or walk, but I’ve committed to run, albeit very, very slowly. I am not an athlete. I have never been an athlete. In high school, I was girl who played trombone and acted in the local drama productions. In college, I played on an intramural soccer team with Tim because it seemed important to him that I learn the game of soccer. (Incidentally, even though I scored in the wrong goal, they let me keep playing.)

So, what business do I have running a 5K next Saturday? Well, the organization sponsoring the race is the same one that sponsors a lot of community activities for families affected by Spina Bifida. I’m running to support what they do.

I had a goal to finish the 5K in 32 minutes–roughly a ten-minute mile. As the recurring chest pains and the training challenges have come and gone over the last five weeks, I realize now that my goals have to change. I really hope to just finish.

But the ebb and flow of shifting dreams and goals is so illustrative of our life.

My dreams and goals for my children change as the obstacles present themselves and as my remarkable children claw their way over and through some tough stuff. Memories. Therapy. Anger. Attachment. Disorders. Disabilities. They have overcome so much already.

They are my inspiration.

When I think I cannot take one more step, I think of Isaiah and the untold trauma he has endured. And I take that next step. To honor my son whose memories cloud what he is trying to become.


When I think that one more lap around the high school track is impossible, I think of Isaac. And I recall the tremendous amount of work he has done to catch up to his peers. I think about how he stutters and struggles to get his words out. And I run one more lap. To honor my son who still CHOOSES to read out loud to his sister every day.

Sweet Isaac

When I begin to think that this is ridiculous. That I am not an athlete and I shouldn’t even be trying to become something I am not, I recall the day we learned of the unknowns that would shadow Esther-Faith’s life. My goal is to finish this 5K. I may run a 10-minute mile, and I may not.

Soccer Girl

But I will run, to honor my daughter who does not have that choice.


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