Tuesday, September 28, 2010


In response to a recent athletic endeavor, an acquaintance remarked, “You’ve got to be pretty brave to do that.”

My thinking is that it doesn’t take bravery or courage to do something you love. It’s what I’m wired to do. Ask my parents. They watched me as a child wandering off into the woods for hours and then days at a time; let me disappear on my bicycle as long as I agreed to return before dark; sent me running the length of my paper route because walking was boring. I hiked to and from school because taking the short-cut via cattle trail was more fun than grabbing a car ride. You get the picture. Brave? No. Fun? In my mind, yes.

This past weekend I had the good, no great, fortune to spend some time with a family friend, a very courageous, brave family friend. A young woman who was dealt a bad hand from birth and decided to step up and have life-altering surgery performed on her spine.

When I paid her a visit, the surgery was complete; a resounding success according to medical staff. She will realize the extent of that success in the months and years to come. She’ll be back on the soccer field, cross-country trail and walking her dogs down the street soon enough. For now, she has months of rehab and recovery. And she’ll do it with a smile. That’s what courage is… smiling at adversity, smiling when it hurts like hell, smiling because she knows that long-term benefits outweigh the short-term ass-kicking she’s taking right now.

The next time someone tells me how brave I am, how courageous I am, or how tough I am for toeing the line at a race, I’ll return a smile and say, ‘Nah,’ because I know what courage is, and her name’s Maggie.


The Old Bag said...

Go Maggie!

Lisa R said...

You made me cry Crazy Pete! Very nice.

Anonymous said...

Nice bonus post CP. Enjoyed that one.

Big Al.

Crazy's sister said...

What Lisa said. And glad Maggie's on this side of surgery - way to go Chalupa!