My daughter is one of my biggest inspirations. She is six years old and has such a positive outlook on life and an “I can do anything” mindset. There are some things she’s hesitant to try, but for the most part, she has all the confidence in the world.
Ever since I ran my first 5k last year, she has wanted to run one with me. She is young, so I wasn’t sure if she was up to completing it. Then a few months back, I found the perfect beginners race, a 5k color run, and signed us up. We were both so excited!
I told her that if she was going to run with me she needed to train too. Funny thing is, I do not enjoy running at all. I attempt to run here and there, but I definitely have to pump myself up as I’m tying my shoes.
Margaret, on the other hand, thinks running with me is the coolest thing in the world. She gets so excited and asks me every afternoon, “Mom can we go running today? Please!!!” Talk about inspiration! She motivates me every day.
When we went for our very first official “training” run, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was determined to just have fun with it. It wasn’t my fastest run, and she didn’t run in perfect form, but we had the best time! It was so much fun. We would challenge each other and say, “Okay, let’s run to the brown car,” and then when we’d get to the car one of us would say, “Let’s keep going to the next car!” and we’d keep running for a few more steps.
The day of the race came, and we both had butterflies. I told her that it was our big day, and we were going to focus on having fun. As we took off on the course, we both ran with joy, colors flying everywhere. We walked a good part of it but because of our training she was able to run more than I ever thought she would. We spent the next hour talking, singing, dancing, and being covered head to toe in colored cornstarch and paint.
This special day with my daughter taught me so many things. It taught me to have confidence in myself and to pursue my goals. It taught me to focus on the positive, what I can do instead of what I can’t do. I could have easily looked at the race and focused on how we had to walk so much of it when others were running. Instead, I was able to soak in every moment and really focus on this one-on-one time with her.
While I still may not enjoy running and might wrinkle my nose at the idea of another race, I will say “yes!” every time to having confidence in my abilities, creating moments with my family, and spending the day with my daughter.
QUESTION: Has your child ever asked to do something with you that you thought they were not quite “ready” for? Is there something your child is interested in that you could do together?
CHALLENGE: Find an activity that your child would like to pursue, and pursue it together. Maybe it’s something you are already interested in, and maybe it’s not. Besides working on getting better at the activity, focus on the time you spend learning and growing together.