Written below is an essay from a young boy, Anthony. As I read this, his amazing words, wisdom, bravery and love for the Lord touched my heart, so I am re-typing his essay on “The Benefits of Walking and Running” here for you to read – that you may be touched by it as I have been. Anthony’s struggle with Muscular Dystrophy and walking has made me reevaluate my compassion for others, and even my “walk” with God.
The Benefits of Walking and Running
I was asked today to walk the perimeter of the gym, and I said, “I can’t really do unnecessary walking throughout the day.” Then came the reply, “You can walk two minutes at a time because isn’t that how long it takes you to walk to gym class?” Walk two minutes, rest five minutes. I was then told that I needed to do a report due to the fact t hat I didn’t do the walking. The subject that I was told to write is: the benefits of walking and running. So, here it goes, as seen by me, Anthony.
I believe that walking and running are very important things in life. I was told in third grade that I may not always be able to walk and run because of my disease. I became very upset and depressed when the doctors told me my diagnosis was Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy. I saw how upset my mother was when the doctor told us, I decided then and there that I would never give in to my disease and I haven’t done that yet. But, there are days when I am tired and even extra walking can wear me out. I am different than other kids at school – running and walking are easy for them and I fight for every step I take.
I was at a football game with my parents, watching my sister cheer and also watching the game. When we all got back to the car, I told my mom I really wish that I could have played football, it looks like so much fun – this is where running is beneficial. My favorite place in Ohio is Hawking Hills. I have been there several times in my life and last year was the last time for me, it was too hard to get back to the car after the long hike we had taken – this is when walking is beneficial.
Other times when running and walking are beneficial is when you want to play basketball, baseball, softball, kickball, hockey, long distance running, hurtles, relay races, etc. These are all things that I would love to do, but this is not the path that God has set forth for me. Everyone has their cross to bear, and mine is Muscular Dystrophy. I have learned a lot about people in my 14 years on this Earth. I do understand that walking and running are beneficial in exercising, losing weight, etc. But, walking is much more than that to me.
When people that don’t know me look at me, I understand that all they see is a short, chunky boy who is lazy. I am heavy and short due to the steroids that I am on. I take 30mg. of steroids every day and I have done this for the last 4.5 years. The steroids keep me healthy, but they also prevent me from growing or even losing weight. I am sorry that my disease made you so upset today, but it is my body and I know what I can handle and what I can’t. My parents have raised me to be polite and respectful to adults, and so I was respectful earlier today, but if you don’t mind me saying, you were hateful this afternoon. I mean just look at the report you gave me to write. I only wrote this report so you could be aware that walking is the most important thing in my life.
Anthony, this report has a much deeper purpose than for just your coach/teacher to be aware that walking is the most important thing in your life. It is also to make me aware that walking is important to you. It also brings an awareness to others about compassion in life and thankfulness for the normal, everyday things we can do, like walking, that others, like you, may not have the full benefit of doing carelessly. You made me think Anthony, and your courage and determination are going to take you to places you have never imagined!
This to me also bring me to my knees in prayer for you, my brother! May God rain down healing upon you! In the name of Jesus, be healed! Let testimony ring out that Anthony is cured! This prayer can raise you, just as Jesus was raised. Today, you will be playing football! You will be running! Running the race for God and so much more! In the glorious, and powerful name of our Lord, Jesus. Amen!
John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”