My nine year old walked out of the school building slumped in defeat. I could tell as soon as I laid eyes on her that something had happened.
I tried to act nonchalant: “Hey! How was your day?”
She wasted no time getting to the source of her troubles. “Today we practiced for the school track meet. They put me in the very back so I won’t get in anyone’s way. . .because I’m the SLOWEST PERSON in SCHOOL!”
I think if she’d had a couch to faint on out there on the schoolyard, she would’ve collapse dramatically with her hand pressed to her forehead. Yet, even as I inwardly rolled my eyes at the drama, I also felt a twinge–okay a huge wave–of sympathy.
My mind went back to seventh grade. At my tiny Texas junior high school, all kids were forced to run track, regardless of their lack of ability. And I was lacking. Oh, was I ever lacking. My coach stuck me anyplace she needed a runner at track meets. Sometimes I was with the sprinters, sometimes with the distance runners, and always at the back of the pack. Not just at the back, but past the back. Like, way past. Like, the race was over and my fellow runners were heading to the concession stand for a Coke while I was still trying to finish the stinking, miserable, humiliating, I’m-gonna-need-therapy-over-this-one-day race. Continue Reading. . .