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?
[Tweet “Today’s #WednesdayWord is courage. Join the fun and #LinkUp!”]
Grab My Button!
Next Wednesday’s Word: Dreams
Oh, wow. I love that you shared your mom’s story. I think my kids resent the time I was in law school, but maybe they will feel differently when they’re older. And Jamie’s story is amazing!
Coco (@Got2Run4Me) recently posted…The Life Stages Of Courage
I’m sure your children are very proud of you, and even if they never say it, I’m sure you made a very positive impact on them as you worked to better yourself.
First, your mom sounds incredible – actually your whole family because everyone made some sacrifices to help your mom!!!
And, Jamie is amazing – I need to go read her story! She is an inspiration to many of us!!
Kim recently posted…The Courage to be Different
I did not see Jamie along the course, and I wish I had. I would have loved to shout words of encouragement to her!
I love how you honored your mom and Jamie. Both courageous indeed!
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Simply Ancient Grains-Cookbook Review
I just came across your blog and I’m so glad I did! Thank you for sharing your mom’s story! I love this idea for a link-up and will certainly be back.
Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…April Runfessions
Thank you, Michelle! I would love to have you join my Wednesday Word linkup!
Hi Deb! I am new to your blog and to your linkup! Major props to your mom for going back to school when she did. That’s a tough call for sure. And wow look at Jamie! Such an inspiration to us all.
Marcia recently posted…Masters Swim 101
Hi Marcia – thanks for visiting my blog! I’m hoping to join in on your Runfessions linkup next month. 🙂
What a wonderful example your mom set for you! And her mom for letting it happen.
[email protected] the Long Way Home recently posted…Courage
Thanks, Wendy. It was wonderful having my grandmother live pretty close by, and even more wonderful how close we became because I lived with her for two years.
Your mom and Jaime are amazing. I loved reading about them. I suppose courage works with what I ended up posting yesterday. Interesting timing.
Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted…Exploring A Stronger Version Of Myself
Thanks, Courtney! You can link up you post from yesterday if you want, and you might get exposure to some new readers. The Inlinkz linkup doesn’t close until next Tuesday.
LOVE your mom’s story–incredible and so very courageous! I also love Jamie’s story. When I hear things like these, I feel kind of whimpy, but I sure am inspired!
misszippy1 recently posted…Heavy hearted
Same here – I pale in comparison.
dang it – i missed your link up again! i’m going to put the prompt on my editorial calendar for next week right after i post this comment! i love hearing about your family. what a fantastic story of courage. and i’ve seen jamie at a number of local races – way to go, jamie!
Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Fantastic Mother’s Day Gift Ideas That Mom Will Love
I was not familiar with Jaime’s story until after the race on Sunday. Had I known she was out on the course, I would have looked for her, and would have loved to give her a high five.
I loved the story of your mom. At the end of the school year at Mason, we are all rewarded for our hard work by getting to take part in the convocation ceremonies for our students. It is wonderful when a parent walks across the stage, celebrated by their whole family! Truly it is the best part of the year. Your mom set a very fine example.
Anne recently posted…Wednesday Word: Courage
I especially love hearing about someone in their 70’s or 80’s finally getting their degree. It’s so heartwarming!
Great post! You have an excellent example in your mom. I enjoyed reading this and found myself inspired. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
[email protected] Flying Feet recently posted…Wisdom Wednesday: The Best is Yet to Come
Thank you, Jess!
The story about your Mom made me misty-eyed. The story about Jaime gave me chills. Two wonderful examples of courageous and very inspirational women.
HoHo Runs recently posted…Making Peace
[…] If we were having coffee….. I’d tell you that I don’t like coffee, but I do have very wonderful memories of waking up to the deliciously intoxicating aroma of coffee wafting under my bedroom door when I lived with my grandmother. […]
I never knew that about your mom. That’s really inspirational, especially in a time when that was definitely not the norm. Jaime is such an inspiration, too. Both are excellent examples of courage and the fact that when you put your mind to it, almost anything is possible.
Meagan recently posted…Courage to Continue
It definitely wasn’t the norm! I always told my mom that she was a woman before her times!