Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers.
Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about. Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post.
Today’s word is courage…… I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.
Courage – the ability to do something that frightens one.
“She called on all her courage to face the ordeal.”
In hind-site, I wish I’d chosen the word courage for the Wednesday before Mother’s Day. What better time to describe my mom and write a tribute to her and her remarkable courage…
When my parents married, my mom was an elementary school teacher with a two-year business degree. About ten years into her career, she saw the writing on the wall – soon teachers would only be able to continue teaching with a BS in education.
After a couple of summers of commuting to Radford College (Radford University now), Mom made the very tough and courageous decision to take a sabbatical, lose her salary for two years, and go back to school full-time to complete her undergraduate degree.
My mom’s courage to temporarily leave her family to better herself was unprecedented during those idyllic years where the perfect TV wife always had dinner ready the second her husband walked into the door. Since my dad was a dairy farmer and out of the house by 3:30 AM, Mom asked my grandmother if my brother and I could live with her during the week while she lived in the dorms at Radford College with girls half her age.
Every Friday, Mom would return home to clean, do a week’s worth of laundry, and prepare meals for my dad for the following week. I’m sure she had to fit homework in there somewhere, but I don’t ever remember hearing her complain or not be there for whatever we needed. Sunday evenings she dropped us back off at my grandmother’s house, drove back to school, and did it all over again.
At the end of two years of living like that (which seemed perfectly normal to me), my mom proudly walked across the stage to receive her BS degree in early childhood education with her entire family smiley proudly in the audience.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the many sacrifices Mom made during those years had a tremendous impact on me. I learned that no matter what you want in life, you just have to have the courage to start.
Mom’s courage continued when she decided to return to school during my high school years to get her master’s degree from the University of Virginia. My brother was already in college, and I was in high school, so there was no need for us to live with my grandmother.
During those years, I took on the responsibilities of cleaning house and making dinners every weekend while Mom taught school all week, and then took classes over the weekend. She was in a pilot program where the UVA professors traveled to a local college every Friday evening and all day Saturday. Fortunately, Mom didn’t have to live in Charlottesville, but got the same excellent instruction.
Mom’s drive to make herself the best that she could be, even though it wasn’t the easiest path, took a lot of courage. The lessons I’ve taken from Mom’s examples have impacted my life, but I know that I pale in comparison. I’ve never been as courageous as my mom was when she and my dad made that initial decision for her to go back to school.
When deciding how I could tie the word courage back into the running community, I knew that I didn’t have to look much further than this past weekend’s George Washington Parkway Ten-Miler and 5K.
Bill told me that he watched a man finish the 5K with two prosthetic legs, but didn’t think to snap a picture. Later I saw on Pacers’ Instagram feed this picture and the story of Jaime Watts, a local athlete with cerebral palsy. Jaime set a goal to complete 34 races before her 34th birthday, and with the completion of Sunday’s race, she met that goal. Even though Sunday’s event had both a 10-Miler and 5K to choose from, Jaime had the courage to choose the 10-Miler. She started the race at 5 AM and finished at noon to a cheering crowd that stayed long after the rest of the runners had finished and gone home.
Congratulations, Jaime, your courage inspires me!
When have you needed to show courage, or done something that took you outside of your comfort zone?
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Next Wednesday’s Word: Dreams