Thursday, October 11, 2012

Accepting The Challenge/MANN

Have you ever accepted a challenge and then wondered if you could achieve it? I like to walk and would be the first to admit that I don’t do it enough. My husband turns seventy-five this month and knowing I’m not far behind him helps me to realize that if we don’t step up to the plate with grandchildren’s invitations, we miss opportunities to share special parts of their life.

This was the the case a couple of weeks ago. A grandson asked, “Grandma, will you walk for Terry Fox with me? My school is doing it on Thursday.”

No problem! I checked the weather report and it showed sunny periods with a slight breeze. I got my old running shoes out and admitted that this would be a very pleasant experience. Putting on a cotton shirt and a light jacket, I was ready on the given day.

The walk actually began with a ‘sit-down’ in the school gymnasium where a teacher provided each participant a map and the principal gave implicit instructions about safety, comfort and discipline. I remember two particular statements: “You are never alone”, “Somebody is always behind you.” The children of the Roman Catholic school could easily understand those sentences with a double meaning. How comforting this would be to even the smallest child. Okay, bring it on. Let’s run this race (walk) that has been set before you.

It was not long before I was on the street in the midst of a multitude of children: excited, cheering and walking as if they had springs in their shoes. The scenery was pleasant, the few clouds in the sky gave some shelter from the hot sun and walking in the shade of trees provided an even better canopy. It wasn’t long before I shed my jacket and rolled up my shirt sleeves. When I began to think we should be nearing the end of the walk, I heard some adults refer to seeing the half-way mark. I looked at my watch; we had been walking for an hour.

As I continued, I began to wish I had brought some water with me. I also thought it would have been helpful if I’d brought my iPod as some of the children had done and I definitely wouldn’t have worn a jacket. Wondering If I’d studied the map, would I have been able to follow it better?

I continued to appreciate the scenery with the fall colours beginning to tinge the leaves and grass. I talked to different children and adults as they walked past. My grandson encouraged me to, “Come on Grandma. Keep up.” There were times when I would have dearly loved to sit down on the side of the path and watch the others, but I knew that wouldn’t get me back to the school. So yes, knowing that I was never alone gave me the strength I needed and the stamina to finish the walk. And certainly, not knowing it was a five-mile walk at the beginning of the day was a plus.

Donna Mann


Peter Black said...

Kudos to you for your pluck and determination to go the distance!
Your omitting to take some water with you resonates with me, as it's only in recent years that I've come to realize that I'd been under-hydrated for most of my youth and adult life; even now, I sometimes have to remind myself to drink when preoccupied.

Donna Mann said...

Thanks Peter. My grandkids carry water all the time . . . I'm learning.

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