Saturday, April 8, 2017

When Life Throws You Hurdles

I spent the day with my daughter at her latest college track meet. She has been running track for the last eight or nine years. Over the course of her career, the majority of the events that she participated in were simple running events, though she did spend a season or two doing hurdles back in high school.

Recently, Kari's life has been filled with struggles and anxiety. As a junior nursing student she faces the daily struggle of too many chapters to read, difficult material, and frequent tests. This all comes on top of an already full schedule of track practices, weight sessions, and meets.

The past two weeks, in particular, have been difficult ones, with her dad and I getting frequent calls and texts. We have talked with her, advised her, been there to just listen, and - most importantly- prayed for her.

Then, her coach recently decided that she would need to run the steeplechase event at today's meet. (For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this event, allow me to explain. The steeplechase is a 3000 meter event in which the participant rounds the track, jumping 35 barriers over the course of the entire race, including a barrier with a water hazard. To give you an idea of how long the race is- today's race involved 7.5 laps around the college track with 5 barriers in each lap.)

For the past week, Kari has thought about, talked about, and stressed about this event. After all, she had several hurdles to overcome (pardon the pun). Her college does not have an actual track where she can practice, so she had never run the full 3000 meters with barriers. She also had never encountered an actual water hazard, though she had seen one at previous years' meets. Furthermore, she had not done any type of hurdle event since early high school.

Today, Kari conquered those hurdles!

When she came to a hurdle she found a way to get over it and when she landed in the water (2.5 feet deep at the lowest side) she climbed her way out and kept running! It wasn't perfect hurdle form, but she did get over them!

As I watched her make her way around that track, crossing each hurdle, and rounding each lap, I also hoped that it would help her learn a much deeper life lesson. Just as she was able to conquer these literal hurdles that were in her path, so can she conquer the hurdles that life throws her way.

She is not the only student I know who is struggling at this point in the school year. The last month of the semester is always filled with that PUSH to finish the material in the necessary chapters. This means more tests, more assignments, and an often overloaded schedule. These can all be potential hurdles that prevent a student from finishing the school year in a strong way. When this happens, DON'T give up! DON'T fret and worry! Just keep on plugging along, working at a steady pace, and continuing to do your best. You CAN overcome! When life throws you hurdles- just keep working to get over them, giving of your very best!

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