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This week has been packed with Thanksgiving festivities. Ruby’s school did their annual Turkey Trot.  I’ve never been able to go, because it conflicted with kettlebells class.  This year, I got to see it.

The crowd

The crowd

The 3rd grade girls starting line

The 3rd grade girls starting line

You can see Ruby in the front, in the purple coat.  She looks none too thrilled to be there.  The weather dried up for the races though clouds still milled in the sky.  First grade, second grade, then kindergarten raced down a side street and into the back parking lot of the school.  Third grade, up for a slightly longer distance, ran around the school, down three sides of the building and into the parking lot.  I should probably mention the two people – one of them the P.E. coach – dressed up in turkey costumes.  They led the racers.  I’d run too, if I looked that ridiculous. But I did love that the coach made running fun.

I found a spot on the sidelines to cheer on the racers.  A really fast blonde girl, her hair back in a French braid, led the girl runners and won the race.  Then hundreds more.  The 3rd grade boys came next.  Their race started just after the girls took off. Then I saw her.  Ruby walked next to a classmate.  When she heard me yelling for her, she picked up speed.  A little smile played on her face, though she didn’t look at me.

“Go, Ruby, go!  You’re almost there!”

I didn’t care that she walked.  I know how hard it can be to run a race, especially when you can’t see the finish.  You get bogged down in the middle.  Where is the finish?  Am I almost there?

I found her in the gathering of kids at the end.

“Hey, you did great!  It’s hard to keep going when you can’t see the end, huh?”

Ruby nodded, panting hard as I hugged her.

“But you finished.  Good for you.”

As I walked home, I thought about my past races.  Having someone to cheer me on made all the difference.  Those cheers from friends and strangers encouraged me to keep going when I couldn’t see the finish.

In this life, we don’t see the ribbon across our time’s completion.  Yet with encouragement along the way, we can keep moving forward.  Our pace doesn’t matter, only that we get up and keep going.

 

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