I helped run a 5K today.
I didn't physically run the race, but I helped organize it, meaning I stood on a stage with a microphone and gave race reminders and MC'd awards and high fived kids.
At our 5K, we had a 1K Kids Fun Run.
Matt got Ellie all signed up.
And Ellie was not interested.
She ran maybe 200 feet and then decided to play with friends instead.
She ran the rest of the afternoon.
As an adult, I don't want to DNF (receive a time of "Did Not Finish.") I don't want to publicly drop out of a race. This may or may not have led to a hamstring injury a few years ago. Ellie had no reason not to run, but she didn't feel like running.
But part of me wanted her to tough it out and race.
Except for one little problem…. that's not what Ellie wanted. She wanted to run and then laugh. She spent all morning running. She befriended dogs. She had a great time independently playing at the finish area.
Ellie isn't super competitive, and aside from her gymnastics skills (which are largely due to her flexibility), she isn't particularly athletic.
And that's fine.
As I was pondering this, I picked up a copy of a book I recently received, Small Talk by Amy Julia Becker. She writes about what she's learned from her three kids, the oldest of whom has Down syndrome. Although the book isn't about Down syndrome, Amy Julia writes about her daughter Penny, and Down syndrome plays into Penny's story. She talks about how Penny sees victory is listening and hitting the ball occasionally in tennis class, even if all the other kids are more talented athletes.
The book is full of little nuggets of wisdom and is easy to pick up and flip through. True confession: I'm posting about it before I'm done. I originally planned to read the whole book and write a full blog post on the topic next week. Instead, expect snippets about Small Talk as I pick it up and ponder what Ellie (and other kids) teach me about faith.