6.07.2011

Raising Children as a Running Mom

As a committed runner I find many ways to apply lessons learned through running to my own daily life. It allows me to embrace challenges at work, keep my eyes open for obstacles on the road (very useful when driving), and to have faith in myself that yes, I can do it. One of my running goals is to set a great example for my daughter so she too can be active and have confidence. Yesterday confirmed that I am succeeding.

What are the life lessons my daughter has learned through me running?

First, she has always been completely against having her hair pulled back. When I pointed out it would help keep it out of her eyes, she clearly demonstrated how she can just easily move it with the back of her hand. Usually this is fine except for those times she has a spoon or paintbrush in her hand. I recently was introduced to Bondi Bands and began wearing them with every run and sometimes more throughout the day. My darling daughter fell in love with them and when I bought her some Bondi Bands of her own so was ecstatic! So now, my daughter who would never put anything in her hair for longer than a hour will gladly wear a Bondi Band! Score 1 for Mommy.

Second, closed-toe shoes in Hawai'i are a rarity and my daughter is going to have to wear them at her new preschool. I decided now was the time that she started to wear socks with her own running shoes. She would wear them before barefoot and run like crazy! After many times of her questioning why and not wanting to say "because I say so" I went to my last resort and asked her if she ever sees Mommy wearing her running shoes without socks. The answer, no, and now my daughter has decided socks aren't so bad after all. Plus it helps that she does have some Dora socks too.

And last but not least, any mom can tell they are making an impact when their children start modeling their behavior so I am glad she has picked up some good, and perhaps embarrassing, behaviors to model. At times when she is doing her running she tries to breath like Mommy and unfortunately she picks the huffing and puffing she is used to hearing when I am running with her in a jogging stroller uphill. Is that really what I sound like? And last night when she was playing running I asked why she was not moving but just staying in place. Her response, this is the stomping part I have to do before I can run. My husband looked completely confused but I got it right away. Yes, I do a little stomping before I run to activate my Nike+ sensor.

So even though my daughter has honed into some of my quirks, I am happy to see running is becoming a part of her life. She talks about her training plan, how many miles she needs to run today, and what she needs to do in order to get to the finish line. And yes, she needs a little thing on her arm to let her know where the line is!

And her "training plan" is currently focused on her first race in September and Mommy will be running right along her side cheering her on and guiding her to the finish line.

3 comments:

  1. That's so sweet! My son has picked up the running habit too and on the days I tell him we're not running he assumes that we're walking instead. He knows that unless it's raining we're doing something active in the morning. He knows to wear a hat and always have a drink and snacks on hand. His favorite part is cheering me on but the funniest thing is catching him running in place or doing jumping jacks and push-ups when he thinks no one is looking. I love that he's learned exercise and health are just a normal part of life!

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  2. @ Countrymama, I love that your son is into fitness too! It is an ongoing process with my daughter and I love the habits she picks up and can see they will benefit her in the future. Today at the park she was running her "marathon" and started pouring pretend water on herself because she was getting hot. I guess her seeing me do this during the Wahine Half Marathon has left a lasting impression.

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