I was always a good runner.
Even though I couldn’t breath.
Despite Asthma suffocating my lungs I was able focus my mind to getting to the end.
It’s probably due to the boot camp training my Dad put us three girls through. Maybe he really wanted boys but he was blessed with three women instead. He would buy us sensible boy shoes and makes us walk for miles through the bog until we crawled home covered in muck, red cheeked from the fresh country air dabbing out pretty noses.
We must reach the end. We must kick our shoe on the gate, the turnaround point or we will forever hold our peace.
Never allowed to just give up half way through, quitting was not an option we had no other way home but by our sensible boy shoes.
Then as a young girl becomes self-conscious she no longer wants to even start in case she looks stupid. In case everyone stares at her. In case she becomes centre of attention. Instead she hides and observes. She forgets about all that training she was put through. She forgets it all and wanders about lost in her dreams.
Not until she is 37 does she become conscious again. When her body and mind is screaming at her. When her need to run becomes her medicine.
So that her strength can be restored, by putting on her sensible boy shoes and kicking the wall at the turnaround point.
So she keeps walking and walking, she picks up speed and hope and belief. She kicks wall after wall. She thanks her Sargent Major Dad. She knows girls can be as fast as boys.
She wonders where her strength and speed had been hiding all these years. The bog hole she fell into sucked it out of her.
Or did it ?
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