Two realities defined this summer: Texas suffered a terrible heat wave and you ran hundreds of miles.

Running and running and running. When the temperature stayed in triple digits? You ran. When you needed to unwind? You ran. When your legs throbbed, you still ran. You ran at 5 in morning, 5 at night, and almost all the hours in between. You ran with Dad, with friends, with the dogs, with teammates, and by yourself.

Mostly, you ran with heart.

This is the only way for you. Passion over logic. Risky over safe.  Dramatic over boring.  Funny over gentle. Curious over apathetic. Friendly over focused. You’re on your own time schedule, run to your own soundtrack, know everyone’s name at your school, and visit the ER a few times a year. 

To be clear, this is the hardest way to be. 

The world—especially our suburban one—celebrates the stressed-out teens who are anxious to take 12 AP classes and follow all the rules. You have always known that you are not that.

Your constant curiosity drives you to take the long way. Your compassion for the vulnerable makes you kind. Your curiosity for strangers makes you friendly. Your love of the ridiculous makes you fun. Your interest in the daring makes me pray for you constantly. 

Keep running your race, Sam. Get stronger—even when it’s painful. Hear your own music—even when the world wants you to conform. Take the long route—even when it’s a million degrees outside.

You are a force and I’m so glad I get this front-row seat to your sophomore year.

I love you, Sam, and I love your heart.


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