The Final Hurdle – Finale! (continued from last week’s column)
“Violet’s Mom! Violet’s Mom!” My heart was still racing from the fall when I realized that there was someone yelling in the crowd, “Does anyone know Violet’s Mom?!”
Wait. I do! That’s me. “VIOLET”S MOM! Where IS she?”
“I’m right here! What’s going on?!” It was immediately following Violet’s first 200 meter hurdle race on our hometown track. Violet, our 12 year old daughter, is showing promise and a heart for hurdle jumping. After running her best, she fell right at the final hurdle and in front of a cheering crowd. Her right toe clipped the bar at the exact moment she caught my eye in the crowd. She blew her focus and crashed to the ground.
Amidst all the commotion, Violet was scuttled off behind the track building where the EMT was cleaning up some pretty bloody knees. The announcer was calling for the next group of runners over the p.a. system, when through the crowd, there is someone yelling for me, “Violet’s Mom!”
Finding my way down the fence, I waved my arms indicating that it was I they were seeking. The person waved me to follow right away. “Uh-oh… what’s going on? Is Violet okay….”
“She’s fine. She just wants her mom right now. Follow me.” Alright, I thought. Here I come. The only trouble was that in order to enter the track, I would have to dart a quarter way down the field to the next gate. The other option was to jump the fence in front of me.
Considering my options and not being the fastest Hott in the family, I decided to hurdle all five feet of me over the fence. Yes, I did. Right there in front of God and half the town, I threw my belongings to include jacket, water bottle, and 25 pound purse to another mom and flung myself over that fence.
In mid air, Dan realized what I was doing and looked at me like I had lost my mind. Hoisting myself over a 48 inch chain link fence, Dan yells, “WHAT.are.you.doing? You can’t go in there!”
“Oh, yes I can!” Plus, I had permission, right? And, that stranger person told me that Violet was looking for her mom. My feet hit the track and this Hott Mama was a track star for the very first (and only) time ever.
Or, maybe it was more like a football player. Although I was stuck among many middle-schoolers, I was still among the shorter humans on the field. Still unbelieving that this 46 year old mother of four managed to hike herself over that fence, I proceeded to tackle a few kids in my way. “Move it! Watch out! Violet is looking for her mom!”
Finally, arriving behind the track building, Violet was seated in the doorway where her knees were being cleaned. Relieved, it was just a few scrapes… nothing more that a little track burn on both kneecaps. She was fine.
The only thing I could think to do was to hug her. And that I did. Again, and again… and again. For you see, in sixth grade it wasn’t about the race or the injury at all. What hurt more was the “final hurdle” in front of cheering fans yelling your name for the first time ever. To crash under those circumstances hurt more than the bloody knees, I think. I got it right away. And, for this – a hug from mom was the best remedy.
After that, she heard the call for runners to her next event. Although the meet coordinator volunteer offered to forfeit Violet, guess what she did?
She removed the bloody bandages from her knees; jumped up; and said “No. I want to run. I’m ready!”
And she disappeared across the field.
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.” Ecclesiastes 7:14
That night, Violet also ran a hurdle relay and the 4 by 400 where she is the last leg. Guess what? She ran her best race ever at 1:20. Hurdles and hugs. Who knew? Although it was a hard sight for this mom to see, Violet’s crash on the final hurdle directly in front of so many cheering fans was probably her most valuable lesson yet, not only for her but also for her teammates. A tough lesson on focus, that fall will always give us courage and encouragement to keep on trying and,
Carry us all to our next “Final Hurdle”.
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved