Each week at the Running & Reading Club, Kaylee would say, “I can’t run.” With a glint in her eye, she would pull out her asthma puffer and hold onto it like it was her most treasured possession. But her Start2Finish coaches never saw her use it. Coach Jackie couldn’t help but wonder, when she saw the look in Kaylee’s eyes, if it was just an excuse not to have to run.
This went on every week for almost half the program year. Though the rest of the children were running further and further, Kaylee still said, “I can’t run.” Then, one week, to Coach Jackie’s great amazement, she ran. She ran the entire time. And she did not need her puffer. Coach Jackie asked with great curiosity, “Kaylee, what made you run this week?” “I read a book,” she said. “What book?” her coach asked. “I Think I Can. It said I could choose ‘I can’ or ‘I can’t’. So I chose ‘I can.’” Coach Jackie held back the tears and said with a huge smile, “That is amazing, Kaylee. I knew you could!”
For Coach Jackie, this was her greatest reward in volunteering with Start2Finish this year. “There was a period in the middle where I thought, ‘This is a really long time. Maybe I shouldn’t have committed to the whole year.’” But by the end of the program she said, “It was all worth it! I’ll be back next year!”