Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Setting Examples

July 2nd, 2007
When I was very young, my parents used to drive far distances to compete in running road races. 5ks, 8ks, half and full marathons. We’d drive hours to go to a road race, and sometimes we’d make it a family trip and stay over night (my favorite memory is the Corpus Cristi Seafood Festival Road Race in Texas). My early memories are of spaghetti dinners with the families of other runners; men wearing short shorts and mesh tank tops just like the women; the sun not quite up yet as the runners warmed up with slow jogs and stretching; getting bananas, yogurt and juice for free from the sponsor tables; handing out little paper cups of water along the race trail to sweaty runners that grabbed them, sipped and threw the cups on the road; walking with my mom and dad after the race as they “cooled down”; waiting and clapping when they annouced runners we knew in each age/gender class. The mantel above the fireplace in my childhood home held my parent’s running trophies until I was coming home to visit with my husband and children. I didn’t realize how much running and the healthy way of life my parents had created for my brother and me played a part in my development and making me who I am as an adult. I run. I’ve always run. I run for relaxation and to think. It’s my mental getaway from reality. Sometimes I try to run fast and it hurts my knees and hips, so I go back to jogging slow. As I get closer to 40, I realize that running is as much a part of me as waking and sleeping. When I don’t do it, I miss it. When I’m stressed, I wake at 6:30 a.m. and find my Adidas and running shorts and head for the local track or the park. My parents didn’t take us to the road races to teach us anything - they were just doing what they loved and had no choice but to bring their babies too. When I’m at the track at night, my boys and their friends are right there playing ball or pretending to be Jedi knights from Star Wars as I run around them, admonishing them for screaming too loud or hitting someone too hard. I hope that when they grow to men, they’ll have the same desire to be outside, doing something physical just like I did when I grew up. How many parents and mentors really realize the affect and impact they’re having on a child? I wonder if my parents realize that their lifestyle choice in the 70s created the foundation for who I am today and, in turn, affects their grandsons today? I guess I’ll see the results in about 10-15 years…

No comments:

Post a Comment