Last week’s race left me questioning my entire racing life after finishing in close to last place, despite my PR time. Trailing at the end of the race sucks. The people who claim that running is fun are most certainly at the front of the herd or at least in the thick of it. The party marches on and the struggling stragglers at the end are left in no man’s land wondering if they are even still on the right route. Where is the fiesta for the forgotten few at the back of the pack? Those who need the camaraderie the most are left to their own defenses playing solitaire when they signed up for soccer. The tardy tail enders battle both mind and muscle, and the physical and mental revolt is felt every inch of the race. The latecomers who manage to cross the finish line triumph in overcoming the gravitational pull of the earth and their couch. The top finishers triumph in their capacity for record breaking speeds and jovially high five each other for their sub 5 minute miles. Champagne flows from champions’ chalices as flags are draped on the shoulders of victors being carried around on the shoulders of adoring fans. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but how should I know what the hell they do? It’s over by the time I get there. When I entered the stadium for the Sunrise Stampede, the announcer had nearly finished the entire awards ceremony and half the participants had gone home. I was downtrodden and depressed and needed some serious kid therapy.
Time with my children is typically anything but serious and it was exactly the therapeutic respite I needed to heal my bruised ego. While not always wonderfully productive, working out with my kids makes the entire process more fun. Not unlike myself, they have a tendency toward silliness and try to make me laugh. I am not typically hard pressed to laugh at myself, but after my pathetic placement in my last race it was helpful to have them around. My children could care less if I come in last place. They are my reality check when I start to take life too seriously.
Gabby frequently attempts to do my Jillian workouts with me, and occasionally helps me out as she sees fit.
She has also taken a liking to the new foam roller I am still trying to figure out what to do with, and she tries to propel herself across the room on it.
Not one to be left out of the action, Nathan will occasionally try to race me on a run or in the pool. After a few laps he becomes bored with basic running and has tried skipping and sashaying sideways as means to overtake me.
My sprinting skills may still be evolving, but I have so far remained able to rise to the occasion as he prances by in one creative form after the next.
In the pool, Nathan hasn’t perfected his strokes yet and he happily flails his arms about giving new meaning to the term “freestyle.”
Wanting some of his own glory, he is considering tackling a kid triathlon later this summer, so he dutifully puts in some quality lap time with me before retiring to the playful section of the shallow end. This week the smart child strategically waited until I was tired out from my mileage before attempting to overtake me in a race. He came close too, but in the end I prevailed.
My children recognize how much I value exercise and fitness, and I can see a similar value developing within them. This week Nathan tried to explain muscles to Gabby and while he was a bit hazy on some of the finer points of anatomy and physiology (“Gabby, a muscle is a bone…”), the basic idea of strength being important was still there. I asked Gabby the next day what she had learned from her big brother.
I love their hilarious explanations and not-so-subtle inaccuracies. Their lighthearted take on fitness and my training was just what the doctor ordered. I love my kids!