I have some bad childhood memories of the Terry Fox run. I remember reading a ValueTale book about him when I was about eight or nine and it really inspired me. I decided that in order to really do the Terry Fox run right, you should try and do it like Terry Fox. Only then could you really understand how difficult it must have been to get up and run every day like he did. So I started practicing the "hop-hop-step". I practiced in the backyard and in my room until I had it perfected. Then I went to the school wide Terry Fox run. I had gone door to door and raised my money and I was so excited to show everyone how good I was. The day of the run was cold and wet and grey. I wore my little pink sweatpants and matching sweatshirt as we lined up on the soccer field. The whistle blew and I started (probably beaming)...hop hop step, hop hop step.
After my first lap I was pulled to the side by a teacher and warned to stop "mocking" Terry Fox. I didn't even know what mocking meant. I kept going, sure that Terry would have been proud. By the end of the second lap, the school principal was waiting for me at the last bend. She grabbed my arm and pulled me off the course. I remember how big she was and how angry she looked and I was thoroughly confused. "Terry Fox was a Canadian hero...not a joke. You are to go sit down on those bleachers and think about what you have done."
I sat on those bleachers in the rain and cried. I watched all the kids doing their normal kid runs around the field and felt completely alone. How could anyone be mad at me? I had tried to show my solidarity with Terry and worked so hard to raise money. I remember thinking that if only Terry were here, he would save me. He would have said all the things I couldn't to the principal and he would have seen what I was trying to do.
This year I am running in the Terry Fox run again. And I hope by some chance I see my old school principal...so I can kick her in the teeth.