Track mom sheds ‘happy tears’ while watching son chase his dreams
KINGSTON, Jamaica – From the moment she saw his tiny little feet running backwards, Kady-Ann Smith knew her son, Malique Smith Band, had a gift. Since then, her unwavering love and support have been his ‘greatest motivation’ in track and field.
Smith told the OBSERVER ONLINE that watching Malique chase his dreams is one of her greatest joys as a mother, which oftentimes brings ‘tears of joy’ and a whirlwind of anxious moments.
“The life of a track mom entails a lot of tears, happy tears, and my heart races whenever I’m watching him run. I scream and sometimes I feel like my heart is gonna stop,” she said.
The mother of three, who is a nail technician in Mandeville, said from a tender age she knew her son was born to be great.
“From he was a baby, he would run all the time and he used to run even backwards. So, we knew he loved running even then. In primary school, they had this track meet in Manchester where we live and every year, even at the grade one level, he would run with the grade three, four, five boys and we knew that he’d be a star,” the proud mother said.
“At his primary school, they didn’t really have a good field…So, when they saw him running that much, they could tell something was up,” she continued.
Formerly of Manchester High before transferring to Jamaica College, Smith Band became a breakout star at this year’s Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, having copped gold in the Class 1 Boys’ 200m and silver in the 400m. He won Jamaica’s only gold medal in the 200m after he set a new personal best 20.68 seconds to win the Under-20 boys event at the 50th Carifta Games in Nassau, Bahamas in April.
Still, she expressed that his journey was filled with hardships. But she kept him motivated through prayer.
“There were just these tough times he endured. For instance, when a track season is coming up, and he’s doing well in training, right before the season starts, some injury happens and something else acts up. I just pray, motivate him and say next year again. He still trains, no matter what injury he has and no matter what, he doesn’t stop. He always does his book work, but he always keeps up despite the setbacks,” Smith said.
“I just motivate him as I pray for him all the time and I always remind him to pray in the mornings. And I always check up on him because he’s not home,” she added, noting that he lives in Kingston because of school.
Smith Band, who has endured seasons of depression and stress because of injuries, said his mother remains his biggest motivator, adding that he ‘owes a lot’ to her.
“…my mother is always behind me and motivating me no matter what the circumstances because she is always telling me that my time will come,” he said.
She said she hopes Malique remains inspired.
“I just hope he stays motivated as usual and stays focused for next year,” she told the OBSERVER ONLINE.
Kady-Ann plans to spend Mother’s Day at home with her other two children, as Malique will not be able to spend it with her this year.