Kids Will Be Kids: Inspiring and Motivating

Pooks is at the stage in his running career when as soon as a race ends, he immediately asks “When is my next race?” Which is awesome because that enthusiasm is beautiful at age 8… and at age 36.

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After this past Sunday’s 5k with Jay, he’s ready for the next race and wants to know what we have on the agenda. He’s actually signed up the runDisney Kids Run next month during Wine and Dine. (We’re surprising the kids with this trip so shhhh, don’t tell!)

Now, I’ll also say this. While he’s runs with gusto, he’s not extremely fast.  He’s not winning any age group awards.

ba5k5

He’s racing because he enjoys spending time with his parents.

He’s racing because he has that enthusiasm for running that doesn’t come with the love of winning, but with the pure love of moving.

Pooks is one of those kids in constant motion and has been since he was a baby. He might not be the best, he might not be winning any tangible prizes or medals, but he’s doing his best. The Cub Scouts motto is “Do your best” and it’s one that we try to foster within our household. Note that doesn’t say “Be the best”… it says do your best. Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes better.

I’ve said to before but for the people who are new to this blog (or don’t keep track of my every move), I didn’t start running until two years ago. I run for myself but the fact that my kids are watching me certainly motivates me to keep going. These little people that we created are watching our every move. They look to us for guidance in every aspect of their lives at this point and that is priceless.

I want to do right by them.

And while I’m sidelined by my own injury, I still want to encourage their love for motion. I want them to have fun while exercising and it needs to have some glimmer of fun for me, too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it. And they probably wouldn’t either.

What is absolutely fantastic is that when Pooks gets home from a race, Little immediately wants to have a race of his own. Complete with a bib.

This "race" was four laps around the yard. The finish line was my husband and myself holding a ribbon for him to run through.

This “race” was four laps around the yard. The finish line was my husband and myself holding a ribbon for him to run through.

A few months ago, bamagirlruns posted videos on Instagram of her husband doing workouts with her children and what looked like all the kids of their neighborhood as well. Inspired by this, my kids and I took our yard for our own workouts.

Getting planky with it. Notice that Little makes the downward dog modification to his.

Getting planky with it. Notice that Little makes the downward dog modification.

We have stations in the corners of the yard, some at my suggestion and some at theirs and we run from corner to corner. My Little has Autism and is very selective on what foods he will eat (white and orange foods). While I have very little control over that, he’s always down for a good frolic in the yard!

Right now the boys have gym class once a week in school. New Jersey requires physical education throughout all years of schooling but the short amount of time they have at school for active play isn’t enough. So we supplement at home and thankfully my boys are willing participants.

I’m not concerned so much with their form at this point, that will come with time. Right now, they’re out there, they’re having fun, and they’re moving!

Bear crawls and crab walks are among their favorites.

Bear crawls and crab walks are among their favorites.

Fall is always our “busy” season. Actually, so are winter, spring and summer. But fall is when things really seem to get crazy. We’ve got school, homework, after school activities, Cub Scouts, piano lessons, etc etc etc. Setting aside 10-20 minutes a day to getting moving with my boys is something I look forward to because it’s ours and because I love seeing them turn to me with expectant looks on their faces, asking, What’s next?

What are some family activities you do together? How did you find the love of running (or swimming, or cycling)? Any ideas for fun “stations” for the kids? (I saw a friend used a game spinner the other day during her workout and I’m definitely thinking that’s something I’ll have to incorporate.)

10 thoughts on “Kids Will Be Kids: Inspiring and Motivating

  1. Ahhhhh this is too cute! I love that he loves to race and I love that you are suprising the kids with DWorld trip!!! Best Parents Ever.

    I’ve been coaching the Girls on the Run, and dealing with younger girls trying to run has been a struggle… many of my girls have had very little or no physical activity. But each girl is strong in something, and I have figured out two LOVE to powerwalk and are decent at it, instead of trying to run. You gotta start somewhere and it is a good feeling to know that they are moving around and breathin in life and enjoying working a sweat!

    • We’ve surprised the kids once before, about two years ago and it was really cute. I have a feeling that Pooks might know what’s going on but he’s doing really well pretending that he doesn’t. 😉

      And YES, every child has their strengths and we just need to tap into those things while still working on weaknesses (without making them feel weak). Encouraging your Girls on the Run to move and enjoy the movement is an awesome thing and I bet they’re having so much fun with you!

  2. Finnley loves to do “yoga” with me in the family room. She even has the Ohmmm….and Shanti, Shanti, Shanti chants down at the end. And, she ends it all with a nice Namaste. That is “our” fun time doing stuff together. The sport she gets all to herself is gymnastics, and the girl is just in love. As you said…she isn’t the best, but she always does her best. I just love that.

    • Oh my gosh, I love that Finn is wraps things up with a Namaste. Get that girl some Lululemon! 😉 We watch the yoga segment on Sesame Street and G asks me if I can do crow. And no, I cannot. THANKS FOR BRINGING THAT UP.

  3. I think it’s so cool you do this with your kids! I alway see so many kids at races and I think it’s awesome that their parents are helping them get more active. Go you!

    • I love how excited my kids are to run and I can’t wait for the kids race next month in Disney – it will be Little’s first “official” race. I mean, the races in the yard with our “finish line” are awesome but it will be fun to watch him run with other kids. 🙂 xo

  4. Between naps and school, the day leaves me with workout time during Sky’s morning nap. That leaves Aria begging me for something to do. So she is now my trainer. She says so mom when are we working out. She suggests what workout to do (“Colors” workout is a cardio circuit divided by colors and “wonder woman” is my 15 crossfit workout on YouTube then I do a 10 minute interval sprint on the treadmill. She sits on my bed reading a book, presses the start button on my timer, or yells out the last 10 seconds count down at the end of my workout. she sometimes joins me in little exercise moves and cheers. Aria has no idea how she fuels my workout. Its not much but I’m seeing results and its all I can fit in before Sky wakes up. Regardless, Aria watching me is TOTALLY why I am keeping so consistent. While I’m exhausted and want to give up, I say to myself, “I cannt give up, how am I going to explain that to her”. Because you know how inquisitive a spunky soon to be 5 year old is. How do you explain mommy is being lazy today? Sometimes I wonder how watching her mom workout is going to influence her life.

    • I love that Aria is your training coach! She probably loves it – time to boss mom around. That’s not something you get to do all the time. 😉 I love how they motivate and inspire us as much as we do them. Good stuff!

  5. I love that your kids are into running as well. My older daughter (almost 3) is intrigued by what I’m doing and is constantly asking how my run was or how my race was. It’s so cute and it definitely helps motivate me to set a good example of being active. I don’t care so much if they run (although that would be great) as long as my daughters lead an active lifestyle.

    • Exactly, Ben! My Little dude isn’t doing much in the way of races yet but I can see that the spark has been ignited. I don’t want them to ever feel pressure to do it (I knew that pressure and resisted it for years) but if they enjoy it, I figure that will help in their want to participate.

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.