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A few nights ago, as my 10-yr-old daughter and I were discussing the ways of the world, she said she’d be okay if the Second Coming happened right now as long as she could finish her last cross country meet.

I will admit, I felt proud at her dedication to the sport considering the rough season she’s had. During try-outs, C sprained her ankle. The Dr. gave her the okay to finish the season, but warned her that if she kept running, her ankle could take the whole season to heal. She’s recovered greatly, but after about one mile, she starts to feel pain. It slows her down, but she perseveres.

She’s had sweltering hot practices where she’s forgotten her water bottle, insect bites rubbing against her ankle brace into red, seemingly mountainous mounds.

At her last meet, she tripped over some loose countryside and got trampled. By THREE other runners. The first one had a momentum issue and apologized, but the second two just wanted to get ahead. One of them even turned to her and said, “Get out of my way.” After she had stepped on C’s back to get past her.

But she looks forward to the next meet, a hunger for the run in her eyes and legs.

It’s focus, really. She’s focused on her passion instead of the hardships, and despite a lower placement than she would prefer. The experience has been a good taste of the real world where character gets formed into either beauty, or an ugly mass of ambition.

Perseverance is not a race many conquer with integrity. So far so good.

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