Monday, June 8, 2015

12 Things Your Running Might Be Teaching Your Kids

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?



  1. Just wanted to say that I loved this post! I can see my running rubbing off on my young daughters in various ways, and it's awesome!!!!! The other day my 9 year-old told a friend's mom that she wants to be a runner "like her mom" :) :) Filled my heart with joy!!!!!

  2. Great post Beth! I love seeing how my running has taken hold of my kids - they are my biggest fans along the course, and after running two races with my oldest son, my 9yr old just announced he wants to run his first 5K this summer - Happy mama!

  3. None of my kids run much yet)....well, actually the son did one season of cross country, but didn't especially love it. They see me run, they see the finisher medals, and they hear me whine when something hurts (currently plantar fasciitis). But when I ran my first marathon, the oldest daughter (sophomore in college at the time) gave me a shout-out on Facebook...that was HUGE :-) My ultimate goal is for all of us (myself, the husband, and our three kids) do a Disney race someday. I have no shame in using Mickey as a trump card.

  4. I love what your daughter wrote about Boston! So sweet.

    I really hope that when I have children of my own that they are inspired by my running!

  5. Great post! I started working out about 4 years ago and lost a bunch of weight. I took up running again after a 25-year hiatus and got hooked. Now, my whole family has gotten into it. My 14-year-old son runs faster than I do (5:14 mile during track season and running varsity XC this fall), my wife ran a 32-minute 5K the other week and my 11-year-old son beat her in that race.

  6. I have four daughters, all in their twenties. When they were young, I hoped that my running was rubbing off on them, but it was hard to tell--they all hated running, and thought I was "crazy". Now years later, three of them are crazy like their mama. In fact, this weekend the four of us are running the Seattle Rock-n-Roll marathon!

  7. I'm not a mom (yet), but I hope to show my future kids how running has helped shape my life. I started running because my dad was a runner, and I wanted to be like him. I was nine. I'll be 35 this year, and still going strong!

    1. Ahh me too! My dad ran his first marathon when he turned 40 and I have vivid memories of us driving him out for long runs. I am 100% sure that is what pushed me to run marathons (:

  8. I love reading your blog and can relate to so many of posts (not the ones about running fast!). This is probably my favorite post. I truly believe my running, biking, swimming inspires my kids like nothing else I do. Finishing Hood to Coast with my son is probably one of the best memories ever!

  9. That letter from your daughter is amazing!! Super cute!

  10. Love this, especially the letter from your daughter!
    I just blogged about running a 5k from my 8 year old and loved seeing him meet his goals:

    1. WITH my 8 year old. I wasn't running from him. Although some days....

  11. What your daughter wrote about your Boston Marathon run is so sweet! You can see just from that how much she's gaining from your inspiration.

  12. Best post you've ever written. Every single word of it is true and relateable. I hope the same thing for my 3 kiddos. (All of them are starting to get it, I think...) Thanks for this, Beth! P.S. Not coaching with F4 after all, but I still hope to actually meet you someday!

  13. Oh my goodness... the letter from your daughter made me tear up. So precious.

  14. I love this post, and am sharing it on my social media/blog. My kids are not runners, but I didn't start running until 38, so no judgement from me. I began running after a very painful and unexpected divorce, and I like to think that I've modeled resilience in MANY ways for them.

  15. My just turned 17 year old daughter will be running her first half-marathon this fall after having run several 5Ks and a 10K. It is music to my ears to hear her say "I'm going out for a run.". Now if I can just get my 15 year old son away from the stinking video games ....

  16. Such a great post...I love that letter from your daughter! I don't have any kids yet, but hope someday I will inspire them like you do.

  17. Loved this - your words resonated with me.

  18. I don't think my running has inspired either of my kids to run, but at least they see me do it and realize that "activity" of some sort is important. I also got my blog name from my daughter. She saw me running one cold winter day way down the street and when I got home she mentioned that she had looked up and saw some "old Geezer" running way down the street. I challenged her to a race, anytime, at least 800 m. If she beats me, she can call me an old Geezer - she's never taken the challenge yet.

    I like to think my weights do this for my girl as well.


  20. I had no idea you were related to Sherry Arnold! I've known some of the Arnold's for years! What a small world!

  21. So many important lessons for your kids. You are a fantastic role model! Especially love the one about teaching them about snot rockets. haha!

  22. the letter your daughter wrote brought tears to my eyes. go mom!

  23. Thanks so much for this wonderful and great website as well as this post.
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