Run, Travis, Run!

For the past 3 years, I have been in a Writers Group with 2 women, Janis Coverdale and Jeanette Breaux. Each month we workshop each others essays, articles, blog posts, and poetry. Their writing skills, literary instincts, and good humor have blessed my work. Following is a guest post by Janis. Enjoy.

Travis is neighbor child about nine.                                                          

He appeared on my doorstep with a signup sheet and asked me to sponsor him in a school fundraiser in which children would run around their school track. Travis described the marvelous field trip his class might win for the most laps. Would I please pledge one dollar for each lap he ran?

Of course I would. I signed my name and Travis trotted off. Inwardly I chuckled. Travis was a short, pudgy little guy and it amused me to picture him chugging and puffing around the track. As a reminder, I laid out a couple of dollars on my desk.

Saturday was race day. Sunday afternoon a very weary little boy appeared again on my doorstep. Travis said he would have been to see me sooner but his mother said he was too tired and had to nap first. I wondered why he was so tired until he handed me a signed note from the school’s event coach. Travis had run 30 laps! I was astonished. “Travis, this is wonderful! How did you do it?”

Travis explained that he got to the school track “really, really early in the morning and ran until it was getting dark.” He ran laps, rested, ran laps and rested. He stopped for drinks or snacks. He ran again. He told me in a stage-whisper that he had to walk sometimes, but the coach said it was okay. He fell down, too, pointing proudly to a scraped knee. He had tripped on a rock.

Travis was the last one to stop running. The coach had to wait for him.

Why did he run so hard and so long? Because, he explained, he “really, really wanted to go on the trip.” The coach apparently wasn’t supposed to reveal the final scores until school on Monday. But he confided in a jubilant Travis that, because of his laps, he and his friends would probably be going on the field trip. Travis’ freckles crinkled in a blissful grin.

I opened my wallet and handed a very proud child 30 dollars. Travis hugged me and started home, counting his money as he went.

I was pleased for Travis, but not so pleased with myself. I had paid Travis 30 dollars, but, in a way, I had shortchanged him. I never considered Travis would run more than a lap or two. I had measured him by the length of his legs, but had failed to measure his heart. And it was his heart that got him around the track 30 times. It was his heart that kept him running after all the other children had gone home.

I was reminded that I, too, have a race to run. The prize is Eternity.

On my last lap, I hope I will have run with faith and courage and a heart filled to bursting. I know my Coach will be waiting for me.

I hope He will say that I ran like Travis.


One response to this post.

  1. Debra, thanks for sharing your spot with Janis …..

    and Janis ….Your Coach is not just waiting for you, sweetheart, He’s been running the race with you, holding your water bottle and urging you gently on. As are we all!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: