I have never made a secret of the fact that I am not a fan of running. I see no joy in running, and never have. Some running, like running around the bases, has a purpose and brings me great joy, as does running and playing with the lils. Running for the sake of running has always seemed like torture.
My little girl, however, loves to run. She runs for play, she runs to race, she runs to get there faster, and she runs because it is fun for her. Willy and I recognized this early on, and in the last year or so, have tried to convince her that she might enjoy doing some organized running, where she can learn how to run properly. It is clear that this is not something I can teach her.
While she has resisted up until now, I recently signed her up for a program called “Girls on the Run”, without consulting her. Organized out of her school, the program seeks to give girls in her age group both the training that they will need to run a 5K, and some tools to help build their confidence. It is a perfect fit for our running but shy and anxious Goose. Although she was dead set against it at first, we managed to convince her to try.
We are two weeks into the program, and she is so happy. She comes home smiling and hot, but excited to tell us about her progress. She has started running every day at recess, but knows her limits and doesn’t push them. She is eagerly anticipating the 5k that marks the end of the program in May, and can almost run 5K without stopping already. She needs an adult to run that 5K with her and is over the moon excited that that adult is me.
That is correct, I have signed up to run a 5K with her. To ensure that I survive this, I started the couch to 5K program. Friends who have tried it and succeeded rave about it, including those who didn’t like running to begin with. I have some doubts that I can complete the program, but I am determined to finish it for Goose. I want to do this with her, and I want her to know that sometimes doing the things we like* is hard, and it is worth it to push through.
To help me get through this, I convinced Woo to join me in the training. I want some company while I plodded on, and Goose can’t always run with me. He is not a runner, but keen to try. So we run around the block together, and we run/walk and talk and try to get through it. The first day of the week is the hardest, but each subsequent run is a little bit easier. The plan is still daunting to me, and sometimes I am not sure that it will be enough for me to do the race with her.
Last night I read Goose’s training plan, that she had left on the table. It said that one of the keys to her success was running with her family. That gave me the extra push for today. Even if she wasn’t running with me, she could know that I was running. Training so that I might be able to keep up with her.
I got out of bed this AM in the almost light of pre-dawn. Goose isn’t running today, and Woo chose the warmth of his bed. I resisted that temptation and headed out the door. One foot in front of the other, I walked and ran for thirty-one minutes. Today, I successfully completed my run without having to take breaks, and without turning into a tomato from the heat. It was a good run by those standards, but it still wasn’t a pleasant run.
I don’t know that running will ever be enjoyable for me, but I am open to that possibility. When I returned home, I started the day, pausing only for a well-earned slice of breakfast-cake. THAT was enjoyable.
(*please note that the thing I like here is succeeding with Goose, not running. In case I wasn’t clear on that)