My little girl reminded me yesterday that we were set to begin her and her sister’s training for the upcoming cross-country season. Immediately upon arriving home from work today, she again voiced her excitement over beginning the process of preparation, today. Although my mind raced to the thought that this child had lost her mind, wanting to brutalize her body for the sport she loved, I simply shook my head in agreement. Truly, how difficult would it be for good old dad? I would do as I have done countless times and remain in the car, following along as the girls ran, sipping my coffee while holding back a smile, knowing that I didn’t have to partake.
As I reminded her younger sister that we were getting ready to head out to practice, her response was what I had expected. With a slight frown, she rose with labored movements, I’m sure trying to convince herself that the next hour would be worth it. As we departed the house for their chosen running field the girls’ excitement grew. Maybe it was the pep talk I gave. Or more realistically, the thought of putting in the work to dominate their sport next year. Either way, the girls’ motivation grew, and they were ready. As we got to our destination the girls jumped out of the car and began stretching, then off they ran.
As is normal when the girls train, the distance between them began to increase as Riyann began seeing the wildlife and other cool things the terrain offered an inquisitive child. As quickly as it began, the girls had accomplished what they had set out to do and that day’s practice had come to an end. Both girls jumped back in the car, sipped some water and as Riyann spoke about how her legs didn’t want to work, Lilli assured me that she would never run with her sister again because her presence slowed her down.
As the child spoke, and I provided some guidance about being patient, I observed that Lilli had something written on her forearm, just above her wrist. As I grasped her wrist to see what she had written, Lilli smiled and said, “It keeps me going.” I looked and as I asked what she had written I saw the words “You got this” written in green ink.
“Cool,” I said as I released her wrist, and she agreed her sister would get better as time went by.
Driving home, I thought about those three words Lilli had strategically placed on her arm and about how blessed I was to have such a wise 11-year-old child reminding me day after day that we will overcome if we merely keep moving forward. For many, the thought of continuing the battle one more day is overwhelming. For others it is just one in a series of barriers which lay across the roadway we travel. When we remind ourselves about the truth behind the words “You Got This,” taking step after step, towards the goal of survival and success the reality of accomplishment is realized.
Constantly move forward my friends. No matter what you face, fix your eyes upon a distant desire and constantly move towards it, disregarding all the residual garbage along the way. “You Got This,” believe it and your desires become a reality as you succeed into greatness.
Richard J. Stephens lives in Carter County and is the father of three little ladies ranging in age from 9 to 29.