Week after week this young man would practice. Week after week this young man would get stuck at the half mile mark. The task ahead would become too big. And he would quit, usually with a huge meltdown. He needed an extra dose of strength body.mind.spirit.
And that dose came in the form a four legged friend named Chester. It really was Chester, who helped this young boy get his eyes off of himself and on toward victory. Sometimes, it helps to walk, or run, alongside a smiling, trotting, tail-wagging-high, never.give.up, kind of best friend.
Persistence paid off. Our young friend made his finish line goal with hands raised, a smile across his face from ear to ear, a ribbon trailing across his chest, and heaps of new-found confidence in his spirit ..... & a panting golden retriever at his side. The entire staff at the hospital, family and friends, cheered with abandon!
That day is forever in my memory.
And the day I shared this story with my Almond Acres students...is a forever memory as well! When I told the story of my PA friend crossing the finish line for the very first time, these California students clapped and cheered!
Stories are meant to be shared. To inspire. To help us persist when the going gets tough. To remind we are not alone. To remind us of what we are capable of doing, even when we think we can't...and that sometimes we might need a friend to help us reach our goals, to cheer us on.
My friend at Schreiber Hospital would be thrilled to know that his struggle, which became his story of persistence and success, is touching lives like ripples in a pond ~~ going on and on to inspire others to cross their own finish lines.