Monday, July 18, 2011

Lesson 76: Girls Run the World

I've been waiting for nine months to write this blog, Readers.  Sunday, July 17th was the day of the big race, the half marathon my friend Tracy Northern is running in.  If you will recall, I have two friends named Tracy I frequently make mention of on this blog.  Tracy Northern lives above the Mason-Dixon line with me.  Tracy Southern flooped the coop to Dixie Land and lives in the dim witted, heat ridden, flea infested south.  I pissed her off and had to apologize publicly on my last blog post--Lesson 74:  Hard to Say I'm Sorry.  Whoops.  Probably just did that again dissin' her Carolina peeps and all, or worse yet, just lit the match for Civil War #2.  Don't worry readers, Eloise has read most of Jimmy Carter's works and he was a great peacemaker (as well as from the south).  I know just what to do.

Nevertheless, my friend Tracy Northern made up her mind about 9 months ago to make a try for the 13.1 miles.  TN is a mom like me, and has spent more years on the bleachers watching her husband or kids play than actually playing herself.  But she felt it was high time that she did something for herself for a change.  Time invested into long runs, often late at night after her family was all settled, or at ungodly hours of the morning became commonplace and just part of her daily routine.  I am proud of her for seeing it through to the end.  As you will see from the photo story above, she crossed the finish line with a smile on her face.  Amazing.

Tracy Northern isn't insane.  She's just determined---and she's not alone.  There were nearly 900 other people signed up to put themselves through the same endurance test.  Some more of my friends also took the challenge and pushed their womanly bodies beyond what they once thought their limits to be.  Congratulations Kira, Erica, Kristen, and Heather.  Kudos to you, and I mean that in the truest sense of the word.  I just looked it up to be sure of its definition (we teachers are nerdy like that) and it means "honor and glory."  Perfect.  As per my suggestion, Tracy had Lady Ga Ga's Edge of Glory on her iPod as her finishing song.  Great choice.

My little sis, who I also love to poke fun of on this blog has become a runner of a different breed.  I can pick on her freely because she is my only sibling.  Every time we fight, just before I hang up on her I always shout, "Oh, go call all of your other siblings and see what they have to say about that."  This is all good, today though because I am here to tell you that my sis has grit.  She's the sparky fast one who is pushing those 5K times down into the low 20's.  Known as a speed demon of a driver, it is no surprise to those who know her that she is a lightning fast runner as well.  Karen places in nearly every race and wins lots of them.  She is the one that you don't want behind you in a race, because she's sure to catch you.  She's got a big, long race brewing inside of her too, but hasn't made it there just yet.  She was at the half marathon volunteering at the 8th mile, holding a mile marker and cheering everyone on.  Karen is the one responsible for writing "Go Tracy!" in chalk on the bike path that you see on the photo movie.  

You will also see on the movie pictures of my girls--the next generations who have been so inspired from women like my sister and Tracy Northern and gang.  At 10 and 13 years of age they already have six 5K's under their belts and asked me when we can sign up for the next one.  This makes for one proud Mother Eloise.  Ellen, my ten year old ran back to back 5K's on Friday night at 7:30 pm and woke up early to do another one at 8:00 am.  Impressive.  Natalie, my 13 year old with autism was the shocker of the weekend.  She usually walks the 5K's, as I am a bit protective of her and still hold back a bit from pushing her to her physical limits like that because life in other areas, like basic communication, is such a challenge for her.  Natalie's prearranged walking partner was unable to make it and she was left to do the 5K with Ellen and I.  "Run, Mommy.  Okay, please," said Natalie.  Ellen and I exchanged glances and shrugged and agreed we'd run as long as Natalie could then walk in the rest of the way with her.  Imagine our surprise when SHE RAN THE ENTIRE THING!!! without as much as even a practice!  Never underestimate the power of a woman, folks. That is all I can say.  

There is never a better time to be a girl in America.  We can do anything.  It is acceptable to choose to bear children or not, stay home and raise them or go to work.  You can be a singer, a soldier, a sports star, or a school teacher.  Pick your fancy, ladies.  Sure, it would be a heck of a lot easier to sit on a southern plantation like the belles did and fan themselves.  What you choose to do today will undoubtedly much harder.  But you have the choice.  That's important.  Don't forget that.  Not all women in this world today have this right.  When your journey gets tough, try some running to help you cope.  And don't do it to lose weight.  You don't lose with running--you only gain; confidence, perseverance, and strength. Ladies, we've never needed these traits more than we need them today.

What about me?  Does Eloise run races?  Sure I do, in my Eloise sort of way.  I am in good condition from making running a daily part of my routine six days a week (always saving the Lord's day to rest my weary limbs as He had intended).  I enjoy the treks through the woods and up and down my country road.  Don't look for "Eloise" when you check the race standings though.  I register under the names of US Presidents.  For the next one, look up Thomas Jefferson, 40 year old female.  Did you hear that?  He just rolled over in his grave.

Run on my friends and watch your backs, fellas.  Girls really do Run the World.
Eloise Jefferson

1 comment:

kira said...

What a fantastic piece. I feel so honored to be a part of it. Such a gift Eloise!!