Amy Hanes was living a lie.
This wife and mom of two boys is not a bad or frivolous person. In fact, I figure she’s pretty much like you and me. Believing something about herself because someone told her so.
It took the honesty of her own 9-year-old son to question what she believed to be true.
I came to know her this week through thoroughly modern means — the Internet.
“Thought you might like this video,” the note on my Facebook page read.
I get a lot of those and appreciate every one. This one was spot on.
As I clicked, “Play,” Amy Hanes came to life on my laptop screen.
“We’re here because a couple of weeks ago my child said something to me that made me think about some things,” she begins.
It’s a YouTube video where you’re invited into a conversation between Amy and her son, Ryan.
She shares a story how Ryan was running laps and he wasn’t happy about it.
“He didn’t think he had the capability,” she explains.
Amy had the same belief herself. Ever since she had a double knee replacement last August she’s been in pain and believed she couldn’t run.
“So I said to my son, ‘It’s too bad that I can’t help you run and run with you.’”
He said, “Mom, that would be totally a miracle if you could run.”
“I started to think about that and realized the only reason I can’t run is because I was told I would never run,” Amy says. “So today with the help of my friend, Alyson here, we are going to attempt to do that same lap that my son had to do.”
As I watched the video, I can see and hear Amy’s doubting sister and mother in the background. Clearly, they thought this was not one of Amy’s brightest ideas.
And yet, there she goes — runs up one side of the field and back with her friend, Alyson by her side. I think I cheered as loudly as watching the Olympics last summer.
Not that it was easy. Amy huffs and puffs pretty good as she looks right into the camera with a stern finger and says, “So to my child, don’t let anyone ever tell you that something is impossible. You might need the support of your friend who didn’t know if she could do it either. Don’t let anybody dictate your future, tell you you can’t do something until you try it yourself.”
So this week, Ryan, go run your laps. It doesn’t matter if you’re the fastest one or the slowest one or the tallest one or the fattest. Just do your best.”
I had to call up this brave woman.
“What did your son think?” I asked.
“I wish I could’ve bottled that smile,” she beamed. “He was so excited!”
Oh, to be your kid’s hero.
Oh to be your own.
Thank you, Amy, for helping me ask myself, “What do I believe to be true about my limitations just because someone told me so?”
Amy’s on a roll with the idea. Next up for her — horseback riding, one of her passions, but something she hasn’t done since her surgery. It’s not getting back on the proverbial horse that scares her.
“It’s getting off,” she explains. “That might involve a lot of pain.”
Then again it might not. This wonderful mother of two has the courage to ask, “What if everything will be OK?”
She knows nothing hurts as much as living your life in fear.