In one of my last posts, I wrote about how I became a runner in 2012. I mentioned about how a big part of it was to get some time to myself, alone. It was a perfect combination; my body was getting stronger, as was my mind. And the benefits of feeding my soul and having some time just for me outweighed all the other benefits combined.

Well friends, guess what?! The joke was on me. Guess who else became a runner last year?! This guy:

© Capstone Photography

I think what convinced him was all the excitement and cheering at the half marathon that I ran. Or maybe it was the big medal at the end of the half. But whatever it was, he became relentless in his requests of "I want to run a race too!" I knew that I needed to find him  a race after he tried to join me in my Fall 10k. From the sidelines. Several times. Unfortunately, there are very few "kid-friendly" races near us. Finally, I found a Kids 1k and signed him up!

I knew that he could easily walk the whole thing if he needed to, so I didn't focus too much on his "training" schedule. But I did take him out once a week for the four weeks prior, and let him run the final stretch of my runs with me. It was just enough to let him feel as though he was "training for his big race!" I struggled with how much to let him train (he's only four!) and how much to emphasize the race aspect. In the end, I focused on the fact that he was creating healthy habits and getting stronger, and tried to downplay the race aspect. Not easy given how excited he was! Note: The National Association of Sports and Physical Education states that 4- to 5-year-olds should be getting an hour of adult-led activity a day. So I figured I was ok with our short runs. 

© Capstone Photography

{He did this every time he saw one of the "yellow vests" —aka a course photographer—along the route. It cracked me up!}
© Capstone Photography

Race day dawned and it was cloudy, foggy... and cold! And this little guy was in our room at the crack of dawn before the sun even thought about rising, wondering if it was time to go. After several of these visits, we gave up and got up. I'm not sure if it was excitement or nerves, but he struggled to eat. Or sit still. So we headed out to the race. Which meant that we got there with plenty of time to kill before the starting gun went off.

It was fun to see him walk around, telling everyone that he was running a "big race!" We took in the atmosphere, and enjoyed all the costumes people had on. Before we knew it... it was time for him to get in the starting corrals with Daddy.

© Capstone Photography

And then I got really nervous. What if he couldn't do it?! What if he didn't like it?! What if he hurt himself?!

All my worries were for nothing. He did it. He loved it. And no, he didn't hurt himself.

As soon as I found them at the finish, he declared "When's my next race?!"

{He looks like he's having an absolute blast, no?!}
© Capstone Photography

Since then, he's gone out with me  on a couple of other runs. (Although I still try to maintain my runs as "me time.") And we are looking for a family run in the spring.

Friends, I think we have a little runner in our midst!

Do you have a passion or hobby that you either currently share, or hope to share, with your little one?!