The elementary school nearby has weekly 'Fun Runs' during the months of November and December. Students who sign up, run one mile around the school grounds after school. Backpacks line the school walls all around the playground. Children huff and puff and race and giggle.
At the end of the run they receive a plastic footprint from the principal to go on their 'Fun Run' chain. Each week it's a different color. They can also buy otter pops for a quarter. It's all very exciting. It's also tough to run a mile all at once when you're in the lower grades of elementary school.
Recently, I spotted a boy and a girl, jogging along together holding hands. I would guess the boy to be a third or fourth grader and the little girl probably a first grader. I'm certain it was not 'true love' on the playground, but rather a brother and sister, the older brother looking out for his younger sister. It was a very tender moment for the 'mom' part of me.
So what makes it successful? What makes the kids come back each week?
It's well organized. The path is clearly marked by bright orange cones. There is a reward at the end. But most of all, there are cheerleaders. Teachers and staff, parents and fellow students are out there cheering everyone on, encouraging them to finish. Literal and figurative hand holding gets them through to the end.
As a writer, there are so many ways my hand is held and I know one day, I will get to that finish line. Are we almost there?
A huge THANK YOU to all of you for your support and encouragement and believing that I can do this. Write on my friends.