The decal on my car doesn’t scream ‘athlete’

Despite this, my 5-year-old daughter and I still managed to complete the Tess Trail Run benefiting the Tristesse Grief Center.


Haven and Morgan at the Tess Trail Run

“When are we going to do another race, Mom?” is a frequently asked question at my house. 

First, a little clarification. Mommy doesn’t “race” in the traditional sense of the word, as evidenced in my recent segment on Episode 1 of the Tulsa Talks podcast. I am not that mother with a 13.1 decal on the back of my Ford Fusion. The actual decal on my car, a dachshund silhouette, just doesn’t scream athlete. 

To my 5-year-old, “race” means participating on a TulsaPeople-sponsored team at a local charity walk, something she had done a total of one time until this past weekend. “Race” means sprinting at the beginning and the end — when people are cheering for us, yay! — and walking most of the way. It also means hearing frequent feedback from the tiny racer next to me: “I’m hot.” “When is this going to be over?”

On Saturday, my daughter and I had our second fun “race” experience when we participated in the Tess Trail Run, a fundraiser for Tulsa’s Tristesse Grief Center. The Memorial Mile was far more our speed than the 5K, especially with plenty of hills to traverse. It was muggy, but we enjoyed the exercise and the company of my TP colleagues.

Of course, the connection between our mommy/daughter time together and the Grief Center’s origins was not lost on me. Tristesse Gonsalves, better known as Tess, died from cancer at age 14. Her mother, Laura Gonsalves, founded the Grief Center in her honor to offer grief support and resources like counseling for those who have lost loved ones.

In the face of her own death, Tess’ foremost concern was how those she was leaving behind would carry on to have whole and healthy lives. In her short 14 years, Tess taught all who knew her how to celebrate life and face death with courage.

Now that’s something worth “racing” for.


Download Episode 1 of the Tulsa Talks podcast to hear more of Morgan’s recent downtown running experiment on her segment “What the What.”


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