In the back of my mind I kind of hope that my running is rubbing off on my kids. In the best way possible.
They hate to run, but I did too when I was their age. After all I didn’t start running until I was the age of 41 so it’s not like I can judge them for not doing it. That would be the whole pot/kettle black situation.
Anyway, I still hope I am setting some kind of example that is sinking into some more their acne covered pores. Here’s what I wish:
1. They realize hard work and discipline pays off (me hugging my mom when I got my BQ in 2010).
2. They appreciate that their mom does not require Kleenex to blow her nose (snot rockets work fine, and look at all the money we save)
3. They have acquired lots of patience and endurance by spectating me as I run races. Sorry I am not faster.
4. They see me leave the house as a stressed out freak and return as Mother Theresa, so they learn that exercise has the power to transform.
5. They understand that you are stronger than you think you are. I didn’t know this until I started running, but I hope I’ve taught this to them.
6. They realize that bodily functions are not something to be ashamed of, but are something to write about on your blog (well, guess that doesn't apply to everyone).
7. They learn that just because you are old (I’m 48, which is ancient in their adolescent eyes), doesn’t mean you have to stop pushing yourself and setting new goals.
8. They know that just as I support them in their activities, they can support me in mine (i.e., being at finish lines – Boulder Ironman 2014).
9. They value a strong body and realize it’s not about what you weigh but about how truly healthy you are.
10. They see you deal with failure/heartache/challenge and still get back on your feet to try again.
11. They know to be extra helpful and un-snarky when mom is injured.
12. They get how amazing the running community is and how deeply we support each other (a virtual race that raised $10,000 when my cousin Sherry was murdered while running).
On some level I know my kids get it. Here is something my dearest daughter wrote in 2011 when I ran Boston (she was 9 at the time):
Even if your kids are not runners themselves, I think your discipline, drive, determination and guts speak volumes. I think you are rubbing off on them in ways you may never know. As parents we are role models, we are defined by the examples we set.
How do you think your running affects your kids? Are they runners?