Got back from OKC yesterday afternoon, and we were greeted by some very happy dogs. It's always nice to come home and be greeted like you were really missed. The weekend was something both Alex and I needed. We knew everything that we heard, but to have it talked about for the whole weekend was great. We allow ourselves to get too dang busy with the outside edges of our lives, and we don't take time to be busy with the up-close and personal stuff.
The weather was perfect for a conference—crappy, so you didn't feel like you were missing something by staying inside and listening to the talks. The one thing we didn't get to do was go by the Oklahoma City Memorial. Since we are close enough, about 4 hours away, we'll do that the next time we go.
My niece Sylvia called me over the weekend, which is something that doesn't happen a lot. She has taken up running, and we seem to be speaking a language that the rest of the family doesn't speak. She is running three 5Ks in three weeks! I'm so impressed with her. This last race, she ran a 24.46 and was the first female to cross the finish line. Sylvia has been in gymnastics since she could roll over, and while she's a level 10 (doesn't get any higher), she is also getting taller and really looking like a girl. She has had to work hard to get where she is, and I'm not taking anything away from her and what she has done, but you can't be a gymnast for the rest of your life. However, you can run and play softball until your shins splint and your rotator cuffs fly off.
We were hoping that Sylvia would get a scholarship for gymnastics, but she found out last week that it wasn't going to happen. So when I talked to her over the weekend, I was ready to pump her up and tell her that there are other things in life that she can do, and you know what? She told me she was OK with it. I was so proud of her, to hear her say things like, "It's always been hard for me, but running, softball and cheerleading is stuff that I like to do. It's fun, and I'm good at it." 24.46? I'd say good at it!
We ran together last Thanksgiving in Lexington, and then I got hurt, and my time just hasn't been all that great ever since. Now I have something to work toward—running with Sylvia. I would love to do a half marathon with her. Problem with that is she would leave me in the dust. However, she could get to the finish line and yell for me as I cross. I have NEVER been athletic. I don't even think I am now, but I do know I can run a 5K. I want to run as fast as my little legs will take me. I want to push myself to be all that I can be and to enjoy the whole process. I am getting charged up again in a way that I haven't been for almost a year, and it's all because Sylvia is running. I am pumped for her and for me, because we can do this together. I never did understand all that gymnastic stuff, but splits and pacing and fartleks—this is stuff I know. This is stuff I want to share with my niece so that she can be all that she can be. Way to go Sylvia! You are wiser than your years.