So, this mom takes her kids for a run….not every joke starts like that right? I digress….
Running is like truth serum. I’m sure you all know this, especially my buddies in MRTT. (For those of you that are not familiar with MRTT – Moms Run This Town – it’s a free running group for women). When you run with someone, you talk about everything under the sun. You share stories, you air your frustrations, and sometimes you solve some pretty heavy problems. Running is a catalyst.
I decided on New Years’ Day that I wanted to run with each of my kids separately. My dad and I used to run together when I was little, and it formed a bond that still exists today, even though we don’t run together anymore. That was MY time with dad, just me. It was time to catch up, to ask questions, and to talk with the most important man in my life.
Now, I run with another important man in my life, my husband. After having to share him with his job, our four kids, projects around the house, that time is MY time to be with him.
So, we have a loop in our neighborhood that’s roughly a mile. I announced that everyone would run the loop with me, and the wee little 3 year old and I would do loops in the culdesac.
I took the 13 year old first. We have run many times before, and once I prep him a little, he begins to talk. I just wait for the magic. Sure enough, he began to open up a bit and talk about what was on him mind, being a teenager and all. I relished every moment of our run and the fact that he trusts me to talk about big things in his life.
Next, I took our 11 year old. He’s our chatterbox, and I love it. He’s not much of a runner, so I’m happy when he obliges me. He’d much rather be playing baseball or gaming, but today he gave me the gift of sharing a loop with me. I learned everything there is to know about a new game he got on the xbox. He was so chatty, he got a cramp, poor thing. So, we walked, which was great because that made our time together even longer.
Up next was our 8 year old, whom I fondly call my “mini me”. This girl amazes me every day. During our run together, she told me she wants to try her first 10k this year. Wow, just wow. I agreed to help her prepare and to run it with her. Absolutely 100% all in. When we were done with the loop, she wanted to run again, but I told her to wait until I ran with short stuff first, who was impatiently waiting for me.
Lastly, the 3 year old ran with me. This kid is so full of energy, I’m jealous. We agreed to four times around our little circle and I told her whenever she wanted to stop, she could. Now, she’s pretty stubborn, so she wanted to do 5 times around, of course. We started to run and she sighed, “This hurts!” I responded with questions about what was hurting, did she want to stop, etc. “No, I’m not stopping! I’m running!” Well, ok then. So, we kept going.
Half a minute went by, “This still hurts! Running hurts!” I asked again what was hurting. “Everything! Everything hurts!”
Goodness, I begged her to stop. “No mama, I’m running!” Oh dear, I’ve created a monster. Again, I reminded her that she can stop whenever she wants, since the driveway was right in front of us. “NO!” So, we passed the driveway and she continued running. Then she cried out in her must frustrated voice, “Why am I still running?!?!”
I completely lost it, as did my kids that were watching from the driveway. I turned to her and said through laughter, “I don’t know, Violet! Why ARE you still running?”
My 13 year old then pointed out, “Violet, your shoes are on the wrong feet!”
We all had a really good laugh out there, even Violet laughed. Here were 5 people, outside on a beautiful day, rolling around and laughing. What a wonderful moment. I wish I could have bottled it up and saved it forever.
These are the moments to cherish, to keep. These people that I have entrusted to me forever. My loves.
Still, what a deep question from such a little person. “Why am I still running when it hurts?” Because, I can. Because, I choose to. Because, I persevere.
But, maybe it’s not a bad idea to check your shoes?
Run happy. Run long.
Amy is an ultramarathoner and triathlete, a coach, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also an ultramarathoner and triathlete), and kids in Ohio.