Sunday, 20 March 2011

The way things were

I still remember my very first road race as if it was just yesterday.  I was eight years old and the 5k kids' race formed part of our local church's annual carnival.  I don't remember much about being nervous before the race or even tired during or after the race.  All I can remember, is fun, excitement and laughter. 

My best friend, Karlien, and I, who obviously had a lot of confidence in our unpracticed athletic abilities, lined up right at the front of the pack.  Once the starting gun fired, we sped off like rabbits - no pacing strategies, no race tactics, no powerful mantras, no nothing.  We simply gave it our all until we reached the finish line.  I remember being the second girl home and receiving a Barbie doll as a prize, but mostly I remember just having a ball with my friend.

I have this neat picture of Karlien and I roaring away after the starting gun had fired, all smiles and flapping arms, stored away in a box somewhere.  It's a picture I'd really like to rediscover - sort of like an illustration of where it all began for me in terms of running.  So I took some time this week to look for the picture - in old picture albums; our family's picture box; everywhere.  But, alas - without success.

What I did discover, however, is of so much more value to me.  Among other precious memories, I came across heaps of old photo's of me as a little girl.  Looking at those pictures for the first time in years, I remembered again the beautiful, happy, confident and fun-loving little girl that I was before life's responsibilities, disappointments, worries, heart-breaks, losses and failures happened.  Sure, most of these things teach us a wealth of lessons - all of which I'm extremely thankful for and none of which I care to or could bare to ever re-learn.  But, looking at those pictures also reminded me once again who I was really made to be and with what attitude I was programmed to handle the curve balls and challenges of life.  And somehow that encouraged me.  And it made me smile.  What an awesome reminder.   

1 comment:

  1. I too did a trip down memory lane recently, and found YOU in my memories... and it made me remember a friendship of many years, of shared experiences and growing up, and I was also reminded how I was to busy with new experiences to see how the friendship died... and I am sorry. This is one thing I WOULD change if I could. But I want to say THANK YOU for those years of friendship, of cycling, of love letters to Steve, of weekends at your house, Jeffreys Bay, and all the others things we did together - you will always have a very special place in my heart and my past, and who knows - maybe my future too?

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