When I was a freshman in high school, I began running the 300 meter hurdles. It is arguably one of the hardest races in track. Because it is 3/4 of the way around the track, it is a full sprint race, but with the addition of the hurdles to leap every few meters. Sprinting that far is hard--even when you are fourteen and fit as a fiddle.
After training for only a few weeks, I went to my first meet. I was randomly placed in the outside lane. I took off full speed and quickly gained the lead. I kept the lead and extended it as I rounded the corner and came down that last 100 meter stretch, but there was a big problem brewing; I was exhausted. I kept running, somehow managing to stay ahead, but didn't know how I was going to finish. I came to the last hurdle, merely steps to the finish line, and I stopped. Yes, I stopped . . . in the middle of my lane . . . in the middle of a race . . . at an actual meet. I looked at that hurdle and thought, There is no way.
So, I went around it.
When I crossed the finish line still somewhere in the top three, my coach was pulling his hair out of his head. "What?" I asked.
"You just walked around the hurdle! You're disqualified from the race!"
I couldn't believe it. I had run my heart out. My lungs were still screaming at me and my limbs quaked, but my coach was right. I had left my lane, I didn't jump the hurdle, and I disqualified myself. It wasn't illegal to kick the thing down and walk over it. It wasn't even illegal to crawl over the dumb thing. I could have chosen either of those two easier options to make myself get over that hurdle, but I didn't. I gave up at the last moment.
My house has been on the market for over two months now. We have had the most showings on any house in our town in our price range. That means I am constantly readying my house for show. There were a few disheartening set-backs last week that made me want to quit. Just pull the house off the market and say, "Nevermind, family, you go ahead and move. I'll stay with my house!" Of course, that isn't a viable option, but here I am, staring at the last hurdle and I really want to go around it.
Our choice for my husband to go to college has proven to be an exciting, exhausting race. Sometimes I have felt like I am way out in front and other times I can't even see the pack. I (we) have worked hard and made it through even when I sometimes thought we couldn't. There is no way I'm giving up now.
But, instead of a perfectly formed jump, I may just be crawling over this last hurdle.