Following in the Footsteps

They trained for 3 months – living 40 miles away from each other, the older sister texted the younger sister with a workout plan.  Each day the sisters checked in with each other to see if the other had completed the day’s training.

During the 3 month training, the sisters ran together only one time – a scheduled 10-miler. The younger sister was thrilled she could keep up with her older sister.

The day before the race, the younger sister drove to the city where her older sister lives. Together, they fueled themselves with a carb dinner at a local Italian restaurant, walked to the older sister’s apartment and went early to bed in the older sister’s queen bed.

The next morning the sisters got up at 4:45 am, donned all their running gear and headed to the start line. Having given the race coordinators an estimated finishing time, the sisters were assigned to corral #6.  They began running around 6:30 am, side by side. On the Golden Gate Bridge, around mile 3.5, the younger sister needed to stop to go to the bathroom.  The older sister convinced her to keep running.  After running a mile further, the younger sister told her older sister to run without her, insisting that she’d be fine running on her own.  The older sister repeatedly asked, ‘are you sure?” Getting agitated, the younger sister demanded, ‘yes, just go, please!‘ and so the older sister took off on her own, quickly moving  ahead. The older sister prayed for her younger sister, ‘please help her finish, help her find it within herself to go on her own.’ Crossing the bridge, turning and retracing the route, the older sister passed her younger sister, heading the other direction.  The older sister extended her hand to her younger sister, and the younger sister grabbed it, smiling. The smile, a sign that her younger sister would be OK.

9 miles later, after an uphill 3 mile finish, the older sister looked for her younger sister at the finish line. The older sister worried about how her younger sister would handle those last 3 miles – it was a grueling climb.

In the maze of thousands of runners, the sisters found each other at the finish, and the younger sister told her older sister,

“you know I’m not usually emo, but I have to tell you, when you left me on the route, I kind of worried about how I’d make it to the finish. I ran to the end of the bridge, turned and started heading back down the bridge toward the city. I was looking at runners’ backs and randomly looked up and saw a sign on the bridge.  It said, Jesus loves you, and I began to cry. It was a sign I was going to be OK.”

The sisters’ good vibes traveled the distance, passing like a relay race baton from the first leg to the anchor.

It’s a sign of a strong sisterhood when both sisters accept that one has to follow in the other’s footsteps, but eventually, no matter how challenged or threatened, both aspire and love to end up side by side.



“Following in the Footsteps”

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