The Amazing Race

Finishing a half marathon made my ADHD daughter proud of me — just as I’m proud of her when she doesn’t give up.
The Distracted Princess | posted by Sarah Kaczmarek
Running a Race

I want my daughter to see that, if you work hard, you can accomplish anything.

— Sarah Kaczmarek, blogger

I recently completed my first half marathon at 36 years old. I chose a race that was about three hours from home. We decided to make a weekend of it as a family. A few days before the race, Hadley’s teacher e-mailed me to tell me how proud Hadley was of me.

At the end of the grueling race — a thunderstorm drenched the runners along the way — Hadley wanted to hang my medal on my neck. She was excited to see me finish. She asked if she could take my medal and race certificate to school to share with her class. Hadley’s teacher again e-mailed and said Hadley was beaming when telling the class about our trip and my half marathon. I wasn’t the fastest runner, but she was proud of me for finishing.

The journey I’ve been on running a race reflects life itself. There are many parallels when training for a race. I pushed myself to heights I couldn’t have imagined. I set a goal and accomplished it, start to finish. I started running a year ago, shortly after changing careers. Up until that point, I had never run a full mile. There were days I’d tell myself: “I just ran three miles. If I can do that, I can do anything.”

Hadley’s pride in me made me feel even more proud of myself. As a mother of a child with ADHD, there are times when I wish I could have more patience, yell a little less, and slow down. I focus too much on what I could do better, not what I am doing right. Hadley’s pride in me reminds me that I am setting a good example for her. I want her to see that, if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. Too often she wants to give up when things are more difficult for her than other children.

Running doesn’t come natural to me. My race wasn’t pretty, but I did it. Now I can remind Hadley that the pride she has in me is the pride I have in her when she doesn’t give up.

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