The last morning of cross country practice, Hannah called me from school when practice was over to tell me excitedly that she HAD qualified for district finals!! I wanted to make sure she knew how proud her dad and I are of her, so I headed over to Walmart and picked out a good luck card. #KidsCards #CollectiveBias I am totally one of those people who believes that if you take the time to send a card to someone, you have the potential to completely transform their day into something awesome. If you join the Hallmark Card Rewards Program, you can earn rewards for the Hallmark cards you buy at Walmart. For every 5 cards you buy, you'll earn a reward.
I got a little ahead of myself though, let me go back to the very beginning...at the beginning of the school year, my daughter came to us and said she wanted to join the cross country team at her school. Not being a runner myself, I encouraged her but didn't really understand how cross country works. She got up every school morning and got herself ready for practice that would happen an hour before school started. We went to cross country meets every Saturday morning and cheered on her whole team. Finally, when we made it to the last meet, we were so excited but knew we would only be going to the district final to cheer on her teammates who qualified for the final. Or so we thought! Two days before the district finals, Hannah called me after practice was over and told me she had made the finals!!
We knew that this was a really big deal, she had worked really hard for this and this was something that was all her. No one else ran those miles for her and improved her time for her. We are so proud of her, even if she hadn't qualified for finals, we could see how hard she had worked.
I knew that I wanted to make the weekend of the district final a big one for her, to celebrate and reward her for choosing to go out of her comfort zone and be brave enough to try something new.
Friday night, we went to a high school football game because she had been asking for at least the past year to go to one. We loaded the family up and headed over to the high school and we had such a good time.
The next morning, we had to leave pretty early to get to the finals, but we had gotten a card for Hannah that we wanted her to open. The card I chose for her was a really cool Divergent movie card that opens up to a full size poster. On the front of the card it says, Be Bold. Be Brave.
When you open the card it says, Be who you are. Celebrate YOU. I thought this was absolutely PERFECT for the occassion...I mean honestly, I don't think it could have been more perfect.
Once you unfold the card to the full size poster, it says, One choice can transform you. Powerful. Exactly the message I wanted her to receive before she had to go run her race.
After giving her the card, we made our way to the school where the district finals were being held. It was a crazy scene, 29 schools participated in the finals and there were over 1000 student athletes 8th grade and under.
Hannah's race was the 2nd to the last race of the day, which means we were there for nearly 4 hours before she was to run. But we were there to support the team as a whole, not just our daughter. If there is one thing I want Hannah to learn from team sports is to support everyone who has made the effort to participate. You never know how much your support and encouragement might mean to them.
Anyway, Hannah had a great time with her friends and teammates while they were waiting for their races. They played, they talked and they just chilled and got to hang out.
When it was finally Hannah's divisions turn to race, we lined up along the course so we could see her and cheer her on.
I can't really even express how proud I am of my daughter. She chose to try something that is out of her comfort zone, decided it might not be for her in the long term but she stuck with it and finished strong. That one choice she made, I believe, did transform her.
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