At first she HATED running…

This story out of Sports Illustrated speaks for itself, and is touching on so many levels. Physical improvement. Accountability. Teamwork. Persistence. Heart. Patriotism. Compassion. Love. 

It’s a simple story of a single act that turned into something so much bigger, and for whatever reason really touched me as I read it a second time this evening. I hope you enjoy it, too, and as my dad would say “Grok the Fullness” (Grok the Fullness? Check it out: ). vivian__husband_run1

Vivian White would do just about anything for her son, but this was asking a lot. Take up running? She hated running. Had ever since grade school. Besides, at 47, she was set in her ways.
But he persisted. This was 2005, and Brian Bales was a junior on the Charleston (Ill.) High track team. Every week in the off-season Vivian would drive him to a nearby college and time him in the 200 and the 400. In turn, Brian would try to get her out on the track. Eventually she gave in. At first she was gassed after one lap. Then it was two, then four. If she faltered, there was Brian, backpedaling in front of her like a cornerback and shouting, “Come on, Mom, you can do it!” Or he’d trail her, a hand in the small of her back, saying, “I know it hurts, but you’ll thank me one day.” He taught her how to create a rhythm for her breathing by bouncing a tennis ball as she ran, how to block out pain.

Most 16-year-olds would consider it horrifyingly uncool to train with their mom. Brian loved it. “It made us a lot closer,” he says. “And as soon as she got an iPod, it was like she could outrun a horse.”

Click here to read the full Sports Illustrated story.

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3 Replies to “At first she HATED running…”

  1. Wow, that is a great story! What a great way to show her love and support for her son, and the support they have received from the community is awesome. My thoughts and prayer will be with Brian for his safety while he is deployed in Iraq, as well as the safety of all our other service men and women and the courageous support staff that is over there helping the Iraqis rebuild.

  2. Hi Sandy, thanks for the comment–yeah, really fabulous. A small spark that’s touched and inspired many. And it just started with a few simple steps. I love it.

  3. Rich, this is a great story. Here’s another similar inspiring story about a triatholon Dad who does it for his disabled son. Touching. I do a lot of sacrificing for the sake of my three sons, all parents sacrifice for their kids. But these stories inspire deep down – how can we be the best mom or dad we can possibly be because we just get one chance for a mere 18 years before turning our child out into the world.

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