Sunday, February 16, 2014

Don't Mess With Me. I'm Always Taking a Step.

Yesterday we celebrated my daughter's birthday.  The day was filled with precious moments, laughter, and new memories.  After all, Natalie is a gift to all of us -- her creativity, problem-solving skills, initiative, love for family and friends, and even her thumb-sucking and her little girl voice endear her to us.

Among the birthday gifts she received was a Fitbit that my husband and I purchased for her.  The fitbit is like a high-tech pedometer, counting steps and allowing the user to upload and share with friends online.  We purchased one for our son at Christmas, and his favorite fitbit function is the ability to "taunt" his fitbit friends with an automated message.  Over the last several weeks, I've picked up my phone to discover Andrew's most recent taunt or, if I've done something really nice, a "cheer".

Immediately after opening this gift, the fitbit was clipped to the waistband of Natalie's pants, and the race was on to see which of the kids would amass the highest number of steps for the day, the latest match-up in their friendly sibling rivalry.  Back and forth and up and down the kids darted through the house.  When my husband called to Natalie to check the number of steps taken, Natalie came close to Dave and continued to move, running in place.  When Andrew saw that she was unwilling to stop even for a quick read of the fitbit screen and realized that she was serious in her motivation to get the highest number of steps for the day, he pleaded with her to slow down, even resorting to something close to verbal taunting at one point.  Natalie, determination in her eyes, responded:

"Don't mess with me.  I'm always taking a step."

Focused words of my wisdom from my 6-year-old.

Her words stayed with me, my new mantra as I attempted a long run later that morning.  It's been a rough winter in Pennsylvania, the roads and sidewalks frequently blanketed in snow or ice, making training for races of any distance, or even spending time outside, a challenge.  As I made my way from my house down to a local park, I felt slow and frustrated, the blocks of neglected, still snow-covered sidewalk and frequent icy sections taunting me, inviting me to stop.  I did have to walk at some points, moving to the street to avoid the ice, or walking in the steps of others who already braved the snow and made their mark.  But I vowed to keep moving, one foot in front of the other.

What motivates you to keep moving in life?  Is it working toward a cause or goal, receiving encouragement from friends, or even some friendly competition?  Is there a special person in your life who compels you to take the next step?  What role does faith play in your movement and growth (Hebrews 12)?  When circumstances or people taunt you, hold on to hope, and keep moving forward.  Don't mess with me.  I'm always taking a step...