11 Feb 2015

The Story of Go Abby Go

No Comments Adventures, CAH, Everyday, Tampa, Tampa Bay

On Your Mark…Get Set…Go!

Abby is off to her very first race this Saturday. It’s a big race…30 yards. But that 30 yards has taken us 30 months to prepare for.

The story of Go Abby Go has been a story of determination, perservence, over coming obsticles and the love that it takes to get through one hoop in order to move on to the next.

Abby was born with a medical condition and had a surgery in April of 2013. Her gross motor skills were compromised during the recovery period. We were told that with time, she would walk and then continue to move forward from there. We started a long road of 10 months of physical therapy, 2 times a week, lots of Mom and Me classes (thank you to the City of Tampa for their AMAZING programs and instructors) as well as daily routines to learn to stand, build muscle, and eventually walk. We chronicled our journey on Instagram and have had lots of encouragement.

With 3 siblings helping at every step of the way, and parents, who were DETERMINED to make this our main job, each and every day, we learned to celebrate the smallest accomplishments. Climbing stairs, cruising, scooting, and finally walking…

Go Abby Go

Stairs looked like Mount Everest and a walk to the car seemed like the path of the Camino de Santiago. We worked each day, every day, for minutes at a time. The days were long and progress was slow. But life slowed down and we took each day at a time. This entire experience has taught me the most about parenting than I have ever learned.

I wrote a piece that completely explains why I finally get it.

Abby Langford

“And now I get it.

Abby being the last of four kids, has taught me more lessons than I think I have learned in my last 10 years as a parent. Because now, 10 years later, I get it. I really get it and I hope other parents out there that are struggling with the “my child isn’t there yet” syndrome will be strong and get it too.

Because it isn’t easy. We want our children to be the best. Be the fastest. Be the first. Because being first is the best right? WRONG!

I get that it WOULD be enough if she never walked, but we tried everyday.

I get that no mater what condition she has, I am thankful that I didn’t terminate the pregnancy and let her live, like some doctors advised.

I get that patience is a virtue, and everyone is on their own schedule.

I get that small steps cannot be rushed. It takes time, love, patience, faith and positive thinking to just know that we will eventually reach the goal we have been striving to accomplish.

And with that, the long road, the sometimes bumpy road, will not matter in the end how we got there. We see the journey and the memories of what once was, as just that…memories. We are able to see how far we have come.

To my last baby, thank you for teaching me the value of my job. I am forever grateful to be here on your journey. It’s because of you that I get it now.”

Crossing the finish line on Saturday at the Jr. Gasparilla Distance Classic will mean so much to us, and hopefully to her too, later on in life. If I had one place to say that is my “happy place”, I would have to say finish lines. Finish lines represent journeys and hurdles that one must face before experiencing the rush of emotions of the actual race. Smiles, pictures, cheers and joy are the feelings that are shared by all at the finish line or when watching a loved one cross. You cry because you did it. You cry because they did it. It is just a great place to be. It’s all part of the journey. Something one has worked hard for. The small act of physically crossing the finish line can mean something different to everyone because we all have a different journey we are on. But we stand together to help each other cross.

Go Abby Go 2

You Win, Abby. You really do. You have won our hearts and have showed us that winning is so much more about the journey to cross the finish line.



To learn more about CAH and the CARES Foundation read my article for CAH Awareness Month- “We Are The Lucky Ones.” Abby and I will be running in the 5K stroller run at the Gasparilla Distance Classic to raise awareness for CAH and for the CARES Foundation that helps families who have been effected by CAH.

written by
Marisa is a Mama to 4 kids and resides in Tampa, Florida with her family. Connect with her on Twitter @TampaMama to learn more about Tampa Bay and things to do with kids, Florida family travel, travel adventures and tips or her secret parenting tips for staying alive while wrangling 4 kids. She has a "official" business background in marketing + PR + events, but now plays daily with social media strategy, brand development and digital media. Days are long. Life is short.
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