Courage is a Muscle


Runner“A coward dies a thousand times before his death” but a hero dies only once – and then lives on forever. I really get that.

I wasn’t a big sports buff but having two athletic sons changed that paradigm. They started running in kindergarten and have never stopped. Although they are only in the 8th grade, they run with the varsity team of their school and it’s humbling.

Last week, their cross country team competed in Jacksonville, Florida where it had rained like crazy. I couldn’t understand why everyone was wearing rubber boots that extended up to their knees but I would soon find out. Cross country runners compete in the rain and where there’s rain, there’s also mud. LOTS of mud.

My sons’ team had to tie blue duct tape around their shoes so that they wouldn’t lose them in the mud during their race. Runners have chips on their shoes which are counted at the end of the race. If you run without a chip, your race isn’t counted. One of their team members had to remove his shoe because it was slipping off. He didn’t know which shoe had the chip so he ran with one shoe on and the other in his hand in MUD and on hard gravel. It didn’t deter him. The team won by a huge margin. What the entire stadium witnessed was the manifestation of courage.

The teammate who lost he shoe could have easily quit but he didn’t. He could have thought of a million reasons why he would lose but he didn’t. He stayed the course and he won. The whole team won.

How we live our lives depends on what we choose to believe. “A coward listens to his fears. A courageous person listens to her heart.”