My daughter is soon going to be going to primary school and as a naturally inquisitive child, she always wants to know what her parents are up to if we try and do anything without her. This is very much true of my running (I am assuming the fluorescent colours of my hi viz winter kit somehow appeals). As early as 2 and a half she was offering excellent coaching input such as “run fast daddy, and don’t fall over”. Whilst basic advice you can’t fault it 😀. As she has grown up so has her interest in why I grudgingly go out of the door each week and disappear for an hour or two, only to return on a high and dripping with sweat. As an infrequent park runner myself I was delighted to see that fellow members of my running club were involved in setting up a junior park run in Warrington.
I signed up to volunteer one Sunday with the idea of brining my daughter down to help so she could see what it was all about. When push came to shove at 8am the next Sunday morning, just like her daddy, she was overwhelmed with the desire to stay in bed, so i went off by myself and spent a fun hour marshalling. Some of those kids are seriously quick and their times for 2K put me to shame. After talking to her all of the next week we agreed she would have a go the following weekend, so I sat down at the PC lastsaturday night and registered her and printed out her barcode.
We got further than the week before as I managed to prise her out of bed and get her kitted out for a morning run with daddy, looking cool in her Warrington Running Club shirt and princess Elsa hat (apparently princesses like to run too). We were led through the warm up and we announced ourselves as first timers at the start and took in the applause, and before long we were off. I have to say she did remarkabley well considering she was by far the smallest participant that morning and in hindsight 2K is a fair old distance for little pre school legs. Nonetheless we made it round the 2K course in 18:59 and I am pleased to say we didn’t stop once. I was so proud to see her giving her very best and giving high fives out to all the volunteers as we went round. She wasn’t a bit phased that we weren’t at the front and was delighted with the applause and cheering we got as we crossed the line.
I felt it was important to get her take part, at least once, for a number of reasons. Partly it was to show her what daddy does when he goes off running and that it can be fun. But I guess my main motivation was to show her that exercise and fitness is something that is normal and should be something we all do as a matter of course. I want her not to be worried in the future about getting sweaty, appearing out of breath, or to be concerned what other people might think if she prefers to hit the gym or the track when she is older rather than the shops. Whilst it’s too late for me to be an Olympic athlete, if that’s what she wants to be in the future then sowing the seeds at an early age can’t do any harm as far as I am concerned.
I’m sure it won’t be long before my park run PB under threat from my little one…..😀