Is it possible to actually swell with pride? Really, is it? You know, the feeling that grows the lump in your throat. Where you can't talk to someone asking you a simple question for fear you might just burst into tears. Where you have to bear down and breathe before the tears fall. Where you find yourself screaming MUCH too loud.
If you know me, you know I live above the Arctic Circle. We live in the tundra. On a spit of land that's "almost an island." Cross Country running is in mud, water, tundra, and willows. It's extremely hard. There is no hard packed trails to run on. Literally just horribly wet mud.
My kids run cross country here. The elementary kids run a 2K, middle school a 3K and high school a 5K.
Kotzebue hosts an Invitational meet each year rain, snow or shine. We've had such torrential rain this year the trail was a nasty muddy mess. But the kids still ran. Some kids lost a shoe early on. They kept running. Some kids lost BOTH shoes and kept running. Because Eskimo kids are tough. What's a little mud uphill going to do?
My girl ran the 2K race this year. Oh my gosh I was so choked up. I was screaming much too loudly as she ran up the last hill. I took photos as best as I could while yelling at all the kids. The determination on their faces. The shoeless runners giving it their all. I can't even explain it.
It was awesome.
So, my heart is swollen with immense pride. I don't even know what place she got. Who cares, really. She did well. And she kept both shoes on!
P.S. I made her headband Husky Blue and Gold with a paw print, so I could find her in the willows and scream louder! It worked. It's made of fleece and velcro.