For some strange reason, even though my boys can run crazy all over the house or park, they seem completely incapable of running laps at soccer practice without bringing shame to the family name. Jared's family name, of course. You see, I see myself in them. I have never enjoyed running, nor have I been very good at it. But I do firmly believe that if I learned to push myself harder and run more often, I could be better at running. And I am noticing that in many areas (not just physical) I am needing to teach the principle that "we can do hard things." I do not want to raise kids who give up at the first sign of some hard work.
So, in an effort to teach my boys how to be runners and how to do hard things, I have determined to add lap-running to our curriculum. In all honesty, this event occurs about once a week, although I pictured it happening on a daily basis. And it's my fault. Did I mention that I hate running?
Today after Henry's speech appointment we headed over to the park with a $5 pizza from my favorite franchise. The boys were surprised to find out that before we ate any of the greasy goodness, we would be running laps around the park: our age plus 2. (No, I did NOT run 37 laps; thanks for asking.)
Henry, the one who just might be confused for someone with his legs painted on at soccer practice, was the first to enthusiastically run all 8 of his laps. The kid never stopped once to walk. I don't know if his father would have been proud or infuriated, but his father wasn't there. I slapped him a high five and gave him a slice of pepperoni.
Ian finished next and threw himself down on the blanket for his reward. Five laps is really nothing for him, as he seems to have the boundless energy required for lap running--the reason that he didn't finish earlier had to do with the allure of the park equipment.
I had started running laps with them but had been seriously hampered by a 19 month old who freaks out when she sees her mother running away. I kept moving around the path and would occasionally jog for several yards, but wasn't making very fast progress with her in my arms. I guess this wasn't going to count as my workout today. I had, however, lapped Kimball, who had petered out after two laps and was walking quite slowly while moaning. The rest of us cheered him on and encouraged him through the next several laps, which he alternately walked and jogged half-heartedly.
When he got to his last 2 laps, he asked me to run with him. I got Bronwen interested in a piece of garlic bread and agreed. We took off and he sprinted far ahead (I knew he was being lazy earlier and was not so easily winded as he made out to be.) Laughing, he looked back at me and taunted:
"Mom! I'm faster than you!"
"Yes, you sure are!"
Then, with absolutely no malice in his voice, but just the matter-of-factness of youth, he said, "Maybe it's because of all that weight."
I guess it's better than having random people asking me when I'm due, but it stung nonetheless.
"Yes, son, I'm sure you're right."
I wanted to double his lap requirement at that point, but I didn't particularly want to jog 10 more with him, so I let it slide and went over to nurse my wounds with a slice of pizza pie.
Kids don't cut you any slack, do they? Your friend might tell you how great you look and that all those workouts must be paying off, but your kid will never lie. Dadburnit!