Saturday, September 1, 2012

... running down the road...

Or, how we set examples for our children (and our spouses):

Last Sunday M decided to do a 5k race that was taking place down at the bottom of our hill. How she can decide this on the evening before the race, and then not even set an alarm for that morning, I have no idea. I need to have several days, minimum, in order to stew and worry and get stressed out about a race, and then I'd set the alarm for 4am in order to get up in time to.... stew and stress a bit more.

But she did it, deciding around 8pm and then sleeping until around 7am. And then she headed down the hill.

I followed on foot with the girls a bit later, the plan being that this would be a great opportunity for them to see their mother running, to see a strong woman competing in sport.

They had questions. Will Mommy win? If she's not going to win, is that ok? What if she doesn't win? Maybe could she win? (Nope, yes, it'll be fine, probably not).

They watched the start of the race with interest. After all, how can you not be fascinated by hundreds of people hurrying by you in the street, a street that usually is busy with cars.

And then M came running by. Which was very exciting, but not something I was quite ready for, camera-wise. All I managed was this shot of her (and a friend) heading away from us:

But she looked strong, and even more important, she looked like she was enjoying herself. Which, if you want your daughters to consider doing something physical to keep themselves in shape, is a great thing.

And I have to say, it was a wonderful experience to be with the girls as they watched their momma doing a race. They know she exercises (which I also think is a great thing), but I don't think they really understood what it meant that she runs and that she can do races. Now they have a real sense of it.

Admittedly, she was trailing the lead runner by a bit, which concerned L somewhat ("She's not going to win, right Daddy?" Right), but I did my best to let them know this was ok, that she didn't necessarily expect to win and wasn't doing the race to capital W win.

Then we went down to the beach, where the girls wanted to dig tunnels in the dry sand (which doesn't work well), and then fell back to the default of being horses. I set up a jump and they jumped it for a bit:

Alki Beach Mustangs
(not dissimilar to the horses found on Chincoteague)

And then we saw the runners coming back, so we headed up to the street again. (me: They're coming back. I'm going to go up and watch for your mom. K&L: We want to be horses. me: You can be horses up there, watching for your mother horse. K: Mother horses are mares. me: Right. You can watch for... well, I'm going to watch for your mama.)

The lead runner came blasting past (L: Mommy isn't winning.) and then more, and then we saw her:

Which really got the girls excited. Especially when she came close to give them each a high-five. And after she went by L reassured herself, "But she's in the beginning part, right Daddy?" and I said that yes, she was in the beginning part of the pack.

And we watched other mothers and daughters and fathers and sons.... and K was processing it all. She asked how old you need to be to do the race. I told her there wasn't an age limit so much as you had to be able to make it to the end, but you can walk when you get tired. And you get to do it with Mommy.

K: You can't run very well, right Daddy?
L: Yeah, you can't run very well.
me: No, I can't run at all.
K: We can probably run faster than you Daddy.
L: Yeah!! We can run faster than you!!!
me: Yes, you can. And you should!

And speaking of tired, after all that excitement and exercise, the girls still had to walk back to the house. Which they managed fairly well, even though they were "exhausted."

All in all, it was a most satisfying Sunday morning! I'm proud of M, for being a strong woman and a great role model for her daughters (and for me).

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