Mommy’s Piggy Tales: Endurance and Responsibility

In fifth and sixth grades, I discovered that I was really good at something no one else in my family was good at doing. My sister, 13 months younger, was always keeping up with me. She learned to read when I did, she learned how to ride her bicycle at the same time, and she was starting to master piano playing a lot faster than I was. (Unlike myself, she enjoyed practicing.) I didn’t mind have a sister that excelled in those things; having a sister that was almost the same age as me was so much fun.

Even though my sister and I played together all the time, I enjoyed being outside more than she did. In winter, I was always begging her to put on her snowsuit and come outside to build snow forts with me. In the summer, I went out on my own and rode my banana-seat Schwinn around town. I knew every alley, every small street. I rode the circular road around the water tower and playground, and up and down the hill on the outskirts of town. I rode just for the love of pedaling my bike, and I loved feeling the breeze in my face and hair.

At school, I joined the track and field team. I was definitely not a sprinter. Sprinting required light, quick feet. As I ran the 50 yard dash, my coach yelled “You look like you’re pulling a barn behind you!” I wasn’t fast, but I had a different talent. I had endurance. My coach decided to have me run the mile. Four times around the track. I developed a rhythm when running. I liked the sensation of my feet hitting the track. I liked setting my pace. I liked being able to think about things while I ran.

My parents used the track team to teach me responsibility. It must have been the beginning of track season, and I was supposed to attend a meeting in my sixth grade classroom. I had decided that instead of going to the meeting, I was going home to watch an after-school special…Treasure Island. I loved the book and now I wanted to watch the TV show. In 1980, we didn’t have a way to record it. I walked home from school, and my parents asked me what I was doing. I was supposed to be at the track meeting! They made me turn around and head right back to school. I sneaked into the meeting, late and embarrassed. But I had learned my lesson.

At the end of sixth grade, my father received a Divine Call. A church in the Chicago suburbs wanted Dad to become their pastor. After he turned down the Call once, the church called him again. After much prayer and consideration, Dad felt like God was truly calling him to be a minister to this church.

I was devastated. At 12 years old, I knew my niche in life and I couldn’t imagine moving. Even though I knew the announcement was coming, I started to cry when Dad told our congregation that he had accepted the Call. After the service, I ran to my Sunday School room. My Sunday School teacher just hugged me while I sobbed.

What would happen to this small town girl transplanted to the big city?

Janna of Mommy’s Piggy Tales began a project to share our youth with our children. Every Thursday, I will tell a story about my childhood as if I were telling it to my children. At the end of this project, I’ll have a collection of stories about my childhood for my children to keep, and hopefully treasure.

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13 Replies to “Mommy’s Piggy Tales: Endurance and Responsibility”

  1. Oh, love this…so much about it speaks to my heart. I have a sister 14 months younger…these were probably the last years we were close…she rebelled. You parents obedience…I wonder how our children will see our obedience. The long distance runner…never did track, but I am seeing that is my character in life.I can't wait to see how you adjust to the big city.Thanks….so enjoyed!

  2. My sister was almost 2 years younger than me and kept up with me in every way, too! I almost laughed when you said that about the piano. I didn't start lessons until age 12 or 13, I think, but my brother and sister far outshone me. 🙁 I kept starting over in the beginner books! HAHA! That's good that you didn't mind — I really wanted to outdistance my sister in some way, but didn't have any really special skill.I did run track eventually, too!

  3. Good Morning Ginny Sweetie…Oh my goodness I so adore this story. What a wonderful book in the making. (A collection of your short stories sweetie.)I can see you running around and around the track. I too had endurance, definitely not the sprint for short distance. I am only 5ft. 2 inches. I couldn't do the hurdles either, but like you loved to run. My little grand daughter Isabel started running cross country last year. She was 9 years old, ran that mile every time. Out of 150 kids she never placed under 19th place. Made me so proud.Now I too had a Schwinn bike with a banana seat. Mine was purple. I loved that bike. I loved feeling the wind on my face, and we had a corner grocery store that I loved to ride to. I would spend my 25 cents each Saturday. It got me a bag of penny candy that would last the week. I divided it into days. What a fun time in our lives that was. We certainly can't let our kids do that today.Thank you for the sweet memories Ginny. I have so enjoyed running with you today, and riding our bikes around the town.Have a glorious day sweet friend.Many hugs and much love, Sherry

  4. Hi Ginny,You got great stories and how wonderful it is that you still remember each detail of your life story. Certainly, you can touch lot of lives through your valuable stories. Keep writing.Blessings,The Muse

  5. That's interesting. My dad got a call when I was in 3rd grade – he was having a very difficult time so was tempted to take it but heard God say stay. But I remember he asked me how I felt about it – I was always up for the adventure.

  6. Hi Ginny! I'm looking forward to hearing how moving to Chicago went for you- I was born and grew up there until college. Definitely not a city girl anymore! 🙂 Have a great night:)

  7. I can't wait to learn what happened when you moved! And I can't imagine liking to run in 6th grade. I HATED it. Now, I like it, but I always thought you runners were CRAZY because you LIKED it!

  8. Mmm. You captured my love of riding my bicycle perfectly. You just need to insert pink huffy bike instead.It seems this age is when the drama and fears often begin. Judging from who you are now that small town girl was being refined into the beautiful silver vessel we all love.

  9. I can only imagine how tough moving was for you at this age! Looking forward to hearing about your city adventures though! I ran cross-country at a younger age – 3rd or 4th grade I think – because I too had endurance but not speed! I can totally relate to thinking as you ran!

  10. Transition is so hard at that age, huh? I admired those girls who ran track and field – it looked like so much fun. I'll wait to hear the 'rest' of your story. Blessings~

  11. What a lovely story Ginny! I can harldy wait now to see what happens to you in the big city. It's awesome that you found a niche in endurance running!!

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