I’m seeing this little prompt pop up everywhere today in honor of National Running Day. How can I possibly fit all my reasons to run into one little box? That’s the beauty of running. It can be whatever you need it to be on any given day. With running, the possibilities really are endless. So, can I get a bigger box?!
Many say running is a series of negotiations with yourself: “You can go a little faster.” “You can do it. Don’t Stop.” “Push a little further.” “Don’t be nervous. Trust your training.” All of these little battles that go on in my head while I’m running have become eye opening to me as a parent. When my children are facing a challenge I can put myself in their shoes. It’s no longer, “What are you so afraid of?!” because I get it.
My son just finished his first year of school, so we have had plenty of new milestones recently. After the first few weeks of walking him into the classroom, he expressed he wanted me to use the drop off line and walk in by himself. What do I do when I’m running? Set a goal, plan and prepare, and do my best to follow through. So the night before, we talked about how to walk in safely and what his responsibilities were once he got inside the school. All he had to do was execute the plan the following morning.
As soon as we turned and saw the school building he started to get nervous, “I changed my mind. I’m scared. I don’t want to do it anymore. Will you just walk me in?” I could have just walked him in. I could have gotten upset that I would have to u-turn and take more time to park and walk in.
Instead, my runner instincts clicked on. He was ready for this. I responded, “You know what to do. I understand it is scary but sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to because it makes you braver and stronger. Take a deep breath and walk in.”
As adults, it is easy to forget what it’s like to be a kid. When you are a child there are new experiences and challenges every day. Running has helped me remember what it is like to have to have to face the unknown and push myself to try something new. I have never felt more connected with my children than I have since I started getting serious about running.
I guess you can fit a lot in that little box…
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