Today I had planned a nice long run, but due to a fibromyalgia flare up the past 2 days, I decided not to. But the little runner unleashed had just gotten a fresh new pair of ASICS and in true runner fashion, he was itching to take them out for a run.
I told him that we could go for an EASY 2 miles run with lots of walking and he was OK with that. He does occasionally go on runs with me but he is quite the fast one. Most of the time it’s me trying to keep up with him. And that is EXACTLY what happened today. The whole “easy, nice, run” went right out of the window! He bolted out and I kept telling him to slow down. The best I could do was keep him at an 11 mins pace. I was struggling because I was truly not feeling well. I kept getting sick to my stomach and feeling weak so I kept stopping.
While I was going through hell on the inside, my little was definitely making me feeling better by what he was saying to me. First off, he was going on and on about how amazing his 3rd pair of ASICS were. He kept saying that all kids should wear ASICS because they made him feel taller, which I could only assume he meant had a lot of cushion. and they felt comfortable and they made him run fast.
We were approaching mile 2 and I told him we were going to turn around to go home and he reluctantly agreed. I think he could’ve gone a few more miles had I let him. This soon to be 7 year old has a lot more speed and strength than he leads off.
At this point I was starting to feel worse but I told him to stick by me. The Garmin beeped and he asked what mile we were reaching and I told him. Then he proceeded to prove that children watch what you do when you think they aren’t watching. He started to tell me that his dream is just like mine and wants to follow my footsteps, literally and wants to run the NYC marathon one year. He wants me to be on the opposite side of the rope and be screaming my head off with signs ready to give him hugs and kisses as he runs by.
He wants me to rush to the NYC marathon finish line and wait for him there because that will be the most important race of his life and he doesn’t want me to miss that moment of him crossing the finish line.
Let me remind you real quick, my son is only 6 years old but has the heart and kindness of someone I have never seen before. He then continues on to tell me this….
“Mami, I know your back hurts a lot, and now you have little aliens in your brain but I still think you are the best mom in the world and you never give up. It’s OK if you are slower than me, I know you are trying your best and I think you are the best runner ever. That’s why I want to be just like you when I grow up.”
OK, really? I mean seriously? water works in full effect! This little guy is more grown than most adults! He is an incredible little man! And to those that know him personally, you know all this to be true and I’m sure you can all just picture this all happening right? We were still over a mile from home.
My point is this, it’s not what you try to instill in your kid’s brain, it’s not what you tell them over and over again. It’s what they see. It’s what you do in front of them, and it’s what they see when you think they aren’t watching. Those moments when you are struggling the most, when you feel like its the toughest, you’ll look up and there they are, your kids looking at you. It’s like they know!
I don’t teach my mini me about strength and fighting to chase a dream, he notices it. He sees all it takes to make it come true. He sees the bad, the ugly, the good and the great. At 6 years old, he may not know the exact definition of strength, determination, and grit, but he can show you what it means and what it takes.
-the Scoliosis runner