May 24, 2007

Kid's Running

I never ran when I was a kid. Both of my parents are less than athletic (and no, being a weekend golfer does not make you athletic...or at least not my Dad). At any rate, it's always one of those things that I had wished I had done as kid. That is, picked up a sport and stuck with it (I briefly played softball but I think I was only picked for the team because my best friend's mom was the coach...she felt sorry for me and threw me into right field).

So, when my brother told me the other day that my favorite niece beat a bunch of older boys in a friendly race, I got a huge smile on my face. Little 6 year old is a runner in the making....One of my nephews (my sister's son) lives here locally and frequently comes to watch Troy and I run 5ks. He always seems interested in who beat who, did I beat Troy, and did I know that he beats all the kids at running on the playground. On Christmas day he got a new bike and I had 3 miles schedules so we hit the pavement...he on his brand new bike, and me in my spandex and running shoes. We had a blast. So, last week when he found out that I was picking him from school to go watch Shrek III (but only if he got all greens for the week) he also wanted to know if we could run.

My heart melted.

I wasn't going to let him down so I planned the entire afternoon around our evening run...first the movies, then to my mom's for dinner, then some play time, then the run....I figured it would be just late enough that he would be pooped enough to sleep that night like the little angel he is. Of course, as soon as I picked him up his first 10 questions were "when are going to run?" We managed to make it through the movie, through dinner, and through a little unwinding (read: food digestion) to go for that long awaited run.

Now, let me preface this story by saying that I've seen him run before. He takes off way too fast. So, I naturally assumed that he would tucker out before we got to the end of the block.

Boy, was I wrong.

He actually lasted 1.5 miles. Of course, since I knew I wouldn't be able to teach him to start out slow on his very first official run, I decided we would do sprints instead. So, for a mile and a half around my parents neighborhood he would take as fast and as long as he could...all the while I'm in the background cheering him on.

It was fun. A little runner in the making. And what was even crazier was the attention he put into everything I said. He got a cramp on his left side...I told him to hold his left arm above his head...he did it....I told him to try biting down slightly on his tongue (a trick Troy taught me) if his arm got tired...he did it...I talked to him about how eventually he'd get this nice kick in his step like he was kicking his butt...I later noticed him practicing a kick or two....I told him that when he got into middle school we'd have to get him on the track team...he wanted to know what that was...I told him a baseball team for runners...he said "cool"...he told me that his brother won't run with him because he'd rather play video games...he also added that he'd rather be running...when we got through he followed me on all the stretches, talked to me about the importance of hydration (coming from a 6 year old!), and told me he had a good time.

That last part...about having the good time...that was all I needed.

So, hopefully we've got 2 little runners in the making in this family. I'm planning on finding a kid's run this summer to take both of them too. It's gonna be a blast.

Anyway, just wanted to share that...I can't believe that I almost forgot to post about it!


Tim said...

What a nice story! Thanks for putting it out there!

Laurie said...

Awwwwww, that is so very cool. I wish I had a cool aunt like you!

You should look into entering him into some local kids races. I am sure he would love that.