Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Race...

I re-read this poem today, and as I did, I found myself in tears...
This so perfectly describes the challenges my sweet daughter has faced with her horses over the past few years and the beautiful character she possesses because of them. 
I was certain she'd die at the hand of these crazy, lunatic horses
(I've covered my eyes more times than anyone could imagine, I've prayed my little heart out for her safety, I've sworn I would NEVER let her near another horse, I've wondered why she has to love them so much)...Each time they would throw her or run her into a fence at top speed, each time she had "too close of a call" with one of those little (actually big) buggers, she'd just pick herself back up...
NEVER, EVER giving up!!! 
Her love never wavering, her will never crushed...

She is a hero to me! 
Each year has been a struggle through her show season at the Fairgrounds...sadly this year at Fair is no exception; she has a beautiful, sweet, gentle horse to ride, BUT she is unable to actually place in any classes as this horse did not come to her until after the deadline to register the horse (unfortunately it was just a few meager days) but rules are rules and that is the way it is. 

Now I may have just thrown my hands up in the air, feeling defeated AGAIN,
but not this daughter of mine! 
She entered every class she could and didn't even think twice about it.  She didn't go out and give it a half-hearted effort...NO...
She goes out there and gives it all she has! 
She is beautiful, she is smiling, she is riding her little heart out

She has been pleased with how the week has gone, but today was a truly rewarding experience for her; even though she could not place, the judges spoke to her and told her where they would have placed her had they been able to -- oh my gosh -- she was the happiest girl ever!  It didn't matter that she didn't come home with a trophy (although I'm quite sure she would have loved to), what mattered is that those judges could see that she has never given up...they see her ability, they see her character, they see that this little girl is a winner and they let her know it!  

So, again as I read this poem, I couldn't help but think of my Danielle picking herself back up when she's fallen time and again...never giving up...

SHE IS A WINNER...and I'm so happy to be her Momma!
The Race
“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” they shout at me and plead,

“There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.”

And as I started to hang my head in front of failure’s face,

My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.

For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.

A children’s race, young boys, young men; now I remember well.

Excitement, sure, but also fear; it wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope. Each thought to win the race

Or tie for first, if not that, at least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,

And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they sped, as if they were on fire

To win, to be the hero there, was each boy’s desire.

And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,

Was running near the lead and thought, “My dad will be so proud.”

But as he speeded down the field, across the shallow dip,

The little boy who thought to win lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself, his arm flew out to brace,

And ‘mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.

So, down he fell, and with him, hope. He couldn’t win it now.

Embarrassed, sad, he only wished he’d disappear somehow.

But, as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,

Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that’s all.

And ran with all his mind and might to make up for the fall.

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,

His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.

He wished he had quit before with only one disgrace.

“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But, in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face.

That steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”

So, he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last;

“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”

Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,

But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.

“There’s no sense running more. Three strikes, I’m out…why try?”

The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away.

So far behind, so error-prone, a loser all the way.

“I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.”

But, then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “Get up and take your place.

You weren’t meant for failure here; get up and win the race.”

With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said, “You haven’t lost at all,

For winning is no more than this–to rise each time you fall.”

So up he rose to win once more. And with a new commit,

He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.

So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been.

Still, he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling, three times he rose again.

Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line, first place,

Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen crossed the finish line, last place,

The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud,

You would have thought he won the race, to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad, he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”

“To me you won,” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,

The memory of that little boy helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.

And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.

“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” They still shout in my face,

But another voice within me says, “Get up and win the race!”

To me, that little girl of mine, won the race...
She rose each time, smiling all the way...
refusing to give up...
And Today
she showed us all what she is made of --
just who she is...
a hero...a winner!