Another successful attempt to involve my kids in running. These two accompanied me to their first official trail race today. It was so fun to see them take in a new experience.
Aiden is what I call a reluctant runner; he balks when I suggest a run, but then he returns from his run grinning like a fool.
Abby is the type of runner that will keep going and going and going….much like the Energizer Bunny. She will stop, come into the house, get a drink, and then promptly state that she wants to go run again….I see ultrarunning in her future.
So, we signed up to do a trail race on a fairly easy trail that is very close to home. It was a beautiful day for running; not too hot, not too cold, and a little bit of sun. It was a nice-sized race as well. At the start, I recognized a few buddies, so I went over to say “hi” and see what distance they were running. It is always nice to see familiar faces, and I immediately felt peace seeing their smiles and eagerness to get the run started.
As we went up the first hill, I recognized yet another familiar trail runner, who was also running with one of his kids. This made my heart smile. We shook hands and greeted one another, and exchanged pleasantries as we headed upward.
I looked at my kiddos and was so happy to see smiles on their faces. Little Abby was chugging away up the incline, not even asking to walk. Aiden ran as smooth and easily as a gazelle, chipping away easily and effortlessly.
Throughout the race, I noticed that they were enjoying everything that I enjoy during trail running: the trees, the wildlife, and the feeling of freedom. It was so nice to see the green buds poking out of what had seemed to be lifeless tree limbs just a few days ago. Spring is finally here, and I can’t wait to see the fresh, bright green everywhere on the trail.
Aiden was running like his dad (the famous #iranlikedan), zig zagging on the trail, jumping up and down off of benches, grinning away. It was fun to see him so relaxed and child-like, just like his namesake. This is what I had hoped to share with them today….happiness.
This is trial running.
When we finished and headed back to the car, I asked them what they thought of the race. They both enjoyed the fact that it was fun, felt easy and lighthearted, and non-competitive. All of the reasons that I enjoy trail running. I smiled and told them that that is why we consider trail running as a community and why we feel like fellow trail runners are an extended family. We lift each other up, we encourage one another, and we love to be out there together.
That’s what it’s all about. I hope we do another run together soon….Abby already has her eyes on the next distance….
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 four kids in Ohio.