I have been doing a bit of running with my boys, aged 11 and 9.
They seem to like running, and I like running. So it works for all of us.
Basically, I see it as a fun, free and easy way to entertaining the kids (and wear them out), while I get a good workout too haha!
I take them out to random and fun places to run… we call it “training”. I tell them that one day we are all going to run a marathon together in Paris or London. I don’t think they really know what that means, but they like the idea anyway.
While running, or preparing to run, I like to talk to them about running techniques, enjoying the run, working on your own personal best times, setting goals, working towards your goals and doing a little bit more day by day. But I almost never talk about winning.
I feel that I shouldn’t fill them up with false hope or set any unrealistic dreams or expectations.
You see, my kids are short. Like, really short. With short legs. I don’t expect them to win running races.
There are SO MANY kids that are taller, stronger, fitter, and who have longer legs… which give them a huge advantage over my kids.
So when my boys say they want to try out for a running race, or join a running team. I’m so nonchalant and casual about it, I just shrug, “Oh ok. That’s cool. Have fun. Try your best.”
And that’s about all I’ll ever say to them. I don’t want them to have unreasonable expectations that get crushed.
Anyway, can you imagine my utter shock (bordering on disbelief) when my eldest son came home with this?!?
He won first place in his school’s Cross Country event. And he received a Champion Boy medal for Year 6!
My other son came in 5th place for his year group, which was equally impressive!
I was *bursting* with pride for the both of them!!
They have certainly taught me a lesson… that limits are in the mind (in this case, mine), as much as in the legs. :)