• Carrie Kendon (Sanders)

Finish The Race: Lessons From Grammie #2

One summer, when I was probably only about 10 or so, I went to Pennsylvania to visit some family. They were all registered for a race that weekend (my aunt a marathon, the girls a 2 miler) and they wanted me to enter, too. I said I had never run before, but I would. It was a straight out and back run almost all uphill for the first half. As I rounded the cone at the turn, I could see how far I had come, but I could also see that there was no one behind me. I was in last place and I had half the run remaining. I still had so far to go, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other until the end.

When it was time for the awards to be given out I listened to the voice over the loud speaker said, “in third place in the under 11 age division, Carrie Grey”. What? Yes, I got 3rd in my age group even though I came in dead last. When I returned to Dover, I told Grammie about it and she asked to see my trophy. I told her it was silly because "I didn’t deserve it". Not everyone deserves a trophy. I still believe that, however,  Grammie took that trophy and put it on a shelf in her front room where it sat for the next 20 years or so. She said, “of the whole world, there were only 3 people in your age group willing to run that race and you were one of them”. She taught me it didn’t matter if I was first or last. I chose to start and I chose to finish and that’s what matters most.

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