My kids genuinely get excited when they see people running on our street. They press their little faces up against the window and they watch. They watch the older gentleman on his daily jog, shuffling along. We live close to a high school and college, so they closely watch as the teams make their rounds. They watch the couple that runs together on the weekends, the woman always a couple of paces ahead of the man. They watch the young girl and her dog.
My kids are your cheerleaders, as well as mine. You might not hear them from inside my house (actually, it’s quite possible you do; they’re loud and I’m sure their noise transcends time and space) but they’re there, cheering and watching. Everyone is fast to them. And everyone is doing a terrific job in their eyes.
These kids of mine know that sometimes it’s hard work getting out the door to run. They see it in their own home every day and they always ask us, “Did you run today? What did you do at the gym?” The older one truly wants an answer, while the little one just wants you to pick him up, despite the sweatiness.
They’re inspired without knowing the word to put with the emotion. They’re motivated to run. To run fast. To feel free. Because when other people are running, their natural inclination is to want to run too.
Pace, stride and time mean nothing to them. Eye of the Tiger is their favorite song (and I’m Sexy and I Know It -much to my dismay- because hearing an eight and three year old singing that is wrong) and they both can belt it while running with no issues. They run around the house, around the yard, around any open space. Because obviously, open spaces are made for running.
Before I started running, we would point out planes or diggers on car rides. Now? It’s always runners.
Do you play the game in the car of thinking how far things are in relation to your house and how long it would take you to run there? (Or am I the only one? I don’t think I am!) My elder son actually asked me how long I thought it would take to run to the grocery store the other day… and then lamented it probably wasn’t a good idea because “how could we run home with all the groceries?”
I absolutely adore it. I love that he’s thinking this way and wondering these things, just as I am. Running has made me feel a part of a community, a fraternity of like-minded individuals, my kids are legacies and they want to be a part of it just as much. If there’s anything I know, it’s that my husband and I are doing right by them by committing ourselves to being healthy and active.
The truth is there are days that I probably wouldn’t choose to run… except that I know they’re watching and they’re cheering for me. So I do.
Keep on running, friends. And know that my children are cheering for you and think that you are number one, whether you’re running in our neighborhood or across the country, just because you’re out there and you’re moving. And I do, too.