Look at that smile…
My little girl!
As former high school and college runner, of course I would LOVE to have a child or children follow in my footsteps. I love the feeling right before a race, the excitement and adrenaline. I love track meets, running with a team and being a part of the running community. Of course, it would be wonderful if my kids liked running too but the choice is theirs. While I am fairly optimistic that one or more will run at least in high school, I am not trying to pressure them. There are lots of sports to play and I know they will find what they are good at.
When I heard about another small local 5K race, I immediately thought, “I wonder if Abi would like to try it…” She knows I run in a lot of races and although sometimes I win I have been trying to teach her that sometimes I come in 2nd or 3rd or 10th, etc. The important thing is that I tried and did my best. This is a hard concept to teach a 5 year-old who sees everything in win/ lose and black/ white.
I asked my daughter if she would like to race. She said she did but I wanted a firm committment since it was going to require $20 on my part. I asked her a few more times and she seemed pretty sure so I went ahead and registered her. The night before the race she got a little nervous. My sweet husband told her the tortoise and the hare story. He was also planning on running with her the whole race. This was a must. We would have never let her run by herself at age 5.
I was running to race but I couldn’t help wonder how she was doing while I was running. I knew John was a great partner for her and she would do fine. It started POURING rain as I finished the race and I knew wherever she was it would be hard. Fortunately I had talked her into wearing a visor so at least it wasn’t getting in her face.
After I finished- I left to pick up my younger two at a friends house. I knew I had to hurry back to be there when Abi crossed the finish line. I made it back with 2 minutes to spare. Then I saw John coming in the distance with my little girl holding his hand and smiling. I don’t even have words to describe how special and memorable that moment was. They held hands all the way through to the finish. She ran it all in around 37 minutes which for a 5K is about a 12 minute mile. Not bad for a 5 year-old.
She ended up winning 3rd place in her age group which was actually between boys and girls 8 and under. she was so happy holding her medal. Will this be the start of an amazing running career? Maybe. Maybe not. No matter what- she did her best and I couldn’t be more proud of my little girl.