Thursday, March 29, 2012

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned Running




Kudos to Connor for his fine portrayal of a cricket in his school Frog and Toad play. We are so proud!

I've said it before, Cooper exudes enough energy to power a small village. Lately, Cooper's energy has landed him in all sorts of mischief. After the umpteenth unsuccessful time I disciplined him, I began to question my approach. I want to bend Cooper's will, but not break his spirit. The fact Cooper has boundless energy is not all bad. If channeled the right direction, great things can happen. The trick is finding the right channel.

Last week, I was running and Cooper popped into my mind. My pace quickened and my pulse increased as I recapped his latest antics. As I worked out my frustration with each stride I thought about how Cooper needed to do this too. So, that night I asked him if he wanted to go for a run. He beamed and eagerly excepted my offer. He pulled on his sneakers and emerged from his room clad in athletic shorts and a t-shirt. I let him wear my running watch. He lit up as I fastened it around his wrist. He fiddled with the buttons.

We walked onto the driveway and performed a few perfunctory stretches.

"Let's run a mile," I announced.

He nodded enthusiastically, clearly having no idea what distance constitutes a mile.

I nodded in his direction and we were off. He fell into stride and we whizzed by our neighbor's driveway and then the next. By the third driveway, he questioned our distance. I urged him forward. We began to make small goals....run to the next driveway, then to the stop sign, the fire hydrant, the black truck. The first day we took breaks at each destination. On our second run, we merely used each locale as a mini goal that spurred us towards our ultimate destination.

As we ran, we'd talk. At times, he even held my hand. (Is this the way olympic runners start, by clutching the hands of their mothers while they run?) I began to throw out running tips.

Just set small goals at first.

Even when it's hard, keep going.

Keep looking forward.

Celebrate what you've accomplished.

After awhile, I wondered if running would be a forum for me to teach Cooper life lessons. Maybe, the tips he's learning pounding the pavement will transfer and apply to many other areas of his life. It certainly has for me.





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