Windfall Woman

Life and times of an older Brittany Murphy look-a-like still working as a sales executive after experiencing a life changing windfall a year or so ago

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Friday, October 28, 2005

The Measure of a Man

Two days I have posted about my special guy, Walt. (I haven't figured out to put links in here yet or I would provide them.) Anyhow, he is a very dedicated Cross Country runner; and yesterday, he was running in the Regional Meet. He invited me to come watch him, and so I decided to go. He had called me and told me he had been sick with a weird virus that gave him awful headaches and nausea. It crossed my mind more than once that he would not run. The meet was more than an hour away, but I decided make the trip anyway as it was a beautiful afternoon. When I arrived, I saw him almost immediately. I asked him how he was feeling and he said, "Not so good, but I'm running anyway." I felt pretty apprehensive.

Have you ever tried to follow a cross country meet? Where on earth do you stand? I wanted to see the start, so I got a little ways down the course. He got a really good start, and then I just followed the crowd zipping across to another trail. By the time, the crowd had moved about 400 yards, the first runners were heading that way. I saw Walt in the top 20 or so. People clapped and screamed for their guys so I figured that was how it was done. I yelled really loud for Walt. (I hoped I hadn't scared him.)

The spectators took off again with me running behind them, and we arrived at the next spot as the leaders came running. I saw Walt running around 30th but still in the race. I repeated my encouraging yells. At this point, other spectators did not move and I realized that the course was such that they would run once more around then get on the track and run to the "shoot" aka finish line. I was standing near his team when I overheard some of the parents and runners talking about Walt being sick and running. I started biting my nails.

Finally, I saw him on the track heading round the bend. I was yelling as was his team. I heard his breath in sobs as he caught another runner coming in 32nd place. Turns out he was three seconds off his personal record. Turns out number 33 stole his 32 card so he will end up 33rd. Turns out his friends all gathered around him hugging him as he finally broke down. Someone was handing him something for the headache and water. I was overcome with his stamina, his courage and his will to triumph over adversity. I thanked God I was there to see it. Walt. The measure of a man. Even at 14.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Snake said...

Brings to mind another classic tale--"The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."

10:47 AM  
Blogger Ruvym said...

Funny thing is, I read this one before the story about Walt, so the whole time I was reading it, I didn't know he was a kid. It reminded me of a short story I wrote back in college where these two people seem young and in love and only at the end do you learn that they're really old and live in a nursing home. I guess the idea was to show how even in old age, love can be pure and innocent and make you seem like a kid. In just the opposite way, some kids will strike you as "old souls," and their maturity, courage, wisdom, etc., just doesn't match up with their age.

11:54 AM  
Blogger tammy said...

Walt is an inspiration to us all. Running is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but rarely do I feel such a sense of accomplishement than I do when I reach the finish line. And running teaches us what it means to be human - the training, the dedication, the exhileration, the hurt. Tell Walt to keep it up.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Lauri said...

Run, Walt, run!

4:25 PM  
Blogger Kiachu Shen Ku said...

The Three R's: Reading, wRiting, and Running can tell you every thing you need to know about some one; or your self!
Peace,
Kiachu
(Or just keep walking fast Windfall Woman!)

7:19 AM  
Blogger phoenix said...

How special he is! I agree with ruvym... so much about children that we can learn. The hardest part of a parents life is watching them lose their innocence.

8:58 AM  
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5:01 PM  
Blogger David said...

links are pretty easy - even I can do them, would you like a lesson? I'll take that for a yes.
highlight a word or words by clicking it, when it is blue press 'cntrl', 'shift' and 'A' and a box will open that asks for the url of the place you want to link to. Please do give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

10:13 PM  

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