Creating Running Monsters

When your parents encouraged you to do new things like play an instrument, ride your bicycle, play a sport, or simply dig a hole in the sand, sometimes you would take it to an extreme and they would say something along the lines of, “I have created a monster.” I am now guilty of such said act. My oldest has decided to take up running, with me. I am delighted but with trepidations.

He is so excited about running that he wants to run all the time, in any heat, at any time of the day. He runs on the treadmill and then goes outside to do take laps around our 40 foot diameter driveway. I think it’s a phase but then he started talking about how fast he wants to run at school and when we get to go run together in the morning…outside! I am taking him for a run today, in a little bit, after I have already put in 6 miles because I am only two days from my half marathon. How far will he go? I know at some point he is going to say, “Why are we going so slow?” and my only response will be, “Because I run for distance, buddy, not speed.” This response will undoubtedly elicit a roll of the eyes and a coaching prompt that challenges me to a race! I don’t want to race…I just want to run.

And now I stop whining and embrace that my son wants to run, with me. I am so excited by this that I got up extra early this morning to do some dynamic stretching before I ran my mileage. I get to run with him, show him how to breathe and relax, show him how to pace and how to check his heart rate. I can show him when to push harder and when to take it easy. I can run without music in my ears because we can have a breathless conversation. If we can run together, into the future, when he has a  problem, we can go for a run and solve it. It’s neutral territory; a safe place to talk and leave some stuff outside. My little running monster will get all of the support he needs in this new endeavor to sustain his love of it and keep going. He says he feels like he is flying when he runs. He says he feels like his feet have springs and he bounces everywhere. His enthusiasm is infectious and I am going to catch this bug with him. I am overwhelmed with pride and joy and more than a little afraid that he is old enough to venture out and do bigger kid things.

Gonna go lace up the shoes one more time today and wait for the little man to get up and go. I can’t wait!

Here’s to your little monsters and to you!



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