Each weekend I have the privilege of running with my daughters. They are still light runners but it won’t be long before I have trouble keeping pace.
Our formula is as such. In other words, this is how we roll.
If the youngest wants to come, we run a short trail. The more bumps and hills, the better. She calls it Par Core running. If the trail is straight and flat, she often slows down to a crawl, or a walk, at least. But on the uphill, curve, bridge, or some other feature, she turns on the gas.
On days in which I need a longer run (at least 3 miles) the older sweeties come with me. But they bring wheels. Usually rollerblades. Sometimes a mountain bike or a scooter. They roll a little faster than me. So they are creative with their progress.
Recently, I decided to scooter with my cutie and it almost destroyed me. I do not use those muscles on a regular basis. That gave me increased respect for the athleticism of that 9 year old.
The following video is from two different runs.
Overall, I am so blessed to spend times in the woods with my favorite people in the world.
How do you exercise as a family? Oh, by the way. My youngest daughter usually ads a little segment of riding on dad’s back. I have to pretend I am carrying a 50 lb backpack for a tenth of a mile or so. Those muscles come standard in dad’s…
She started preaching to me, “people need to do this so they aren’t just watching TV. “
We have a runner.
This represents not only my 2.5 mile journey yesterday. I was joined by a very enthusiastic 5-year-old. I’m pretty sure she was looking forward to this run more than I was. Which is saying a lot. As soon as she hit the trail, she burst out in her distinct style of maniacal laughter.
More of the family was with me, but I think we all were entertained and enlightened by her approach. This may just be the thing that helps to keep us all healthy. This little 5-year-old thing running through the forest barefoot. She partly encourages us by her enthusiasm and partly shames us for our lack of enthusiasm at times.
This is what my cross country has taught me so far.
1. Revisit my running form.
She runs with her arms down at her side with hands wide open. I’m literally trying her primitive style to see if it has any benefits.
2. Enjoy enjoy.
I am reminded to smile and enjoy the process.
3. Know when I need a piggy back ride.
When she’s out of steam, she slows down or accepts a piggy back ride for a couple minutes. Then… She jumps back into attack mode.
One thing I’m NOT doing. Running barefoot. If I hit an acorn with my heel, I will cry like a little girl.
I’m glad she has discovered it early. I’m glad anyone who enjoys trail running discovers it when they discover it. Are you smiling when you exercise?