I often sign up for a fall running race. Fall is a great season for road races and the Minneapolis area does not lack for beautiful routes. (My favorite race) I raced every fall when running cross country in college and I went on to enjoy fall road races. Aside from seasons that I have been pregnant or had a newborn I have found at least one road race (typically a 10-miler) every fall since college.
Last fall is the first year that I considered not signing up for my usual 10-mile road race. Late summer was busy and I could not figure out how to get all my training in. After running competitively in college, I have a self-imposed standard. I tend to get competitive with myself when it comes to running. Because I knew that I would not be running a time I was excited about, I considered scratching my usual fall running race.
It did not take me long to realize what a terrible idea that was. What message would that send to my daughters?
If you are not going to beat your best time, don’t even bother. Your best for this season of life is not good enough. Be a quitter. Actually don’t quit…don’t even bother starting. Your health is not a priority. Don’t bother setting goals. Give up.
Because I was focused on my time and how it would compare to other years, I almost decided against signing up. As soon as I thought of the message that it would send to my girls, I realized that fast time or not, I must set the goal to run the 10-mile race.
I want my girls to be willing to try. To persevere.
“If you will not be on top, don’t bother??” What a terrible message to send! I want my girls to be willing to try new activities. Set goals. ENJOY what they are doing! I do not want my girls to feel pressure from me that they must be THE BEST.
I want them to know that their health is important. Physical activity is important for so many reasons: overall health, stronger body, healthy heart, boost the immune system, concentration in school, confidence, a better night’s sleep, better mood, stress relief, and more.
Yes, I must admit that I also want them to enjoy running. I want them to grow up seeing their mom and dad running. My 4-year old loves to see us run a race. She will put on her running clothes and run circles in our home. I love it! I want our girls to grow up surrounded by the awesome community that running provides. No pressure that cross-country and track is the only way to go, though. ;)
I ran the race last fall and enjoyed it. It was a fun race and beautiful route. To think that I almost missed out on the most beautiful time to run! I was happy with my place, but not excited about my time. I realized that my final time is not the only thing that matters. I still get the health and stress relief benefits of running. I get the opportunity to enjoy doing something I love. I have the chance to introduce my daughters to running and the importance of physical activity. I can show them that they should try and persevere, but do not need to be at the top.
What lesson have you learned from running or any other athletic event?
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