Sunday, April 17, 2011

Runaway Success

Several weeks ago, in a rare moment of inspiration, I think I did a good thing.

Mother-adolescent daughter relationships being what they are, ours had hit a familiar groove. Nothing terrible, just the requisite, garden-variety, independence-asserting, frequently huffy, often exasperating, middle child, hormones x 2 (hers and mine), groove.

We needed to break out of that rut, and find a new way to connect. A way that didn't involve me asking, "Did you clean your room?", or her declaring, "(Insert name/object/activity here) is annoying."

What could we do, together, that didn't put me "in charge"? Something that we could enjoy, together, and on equal footing. Maybe a goal - besides tidy bedrooms - that we could work towards? Something active? Lord knows, I could use more of that myself...

Just as I was pondering, a friend mentioned that she has begun to train for a 5k run. And she had come across an online training program that started out with baby steps, and gradually worked you up to running for 30 minutes. In a row.

Initially, I dismissed the idea for myself. To the tiny extent that I was ever a "runner", I abandoned that lifestyle several years ago in favor of walking. Walking briskly - I bet I walk faster than anyone you know - but not running.

The idea kept nagging at me, though. In many ways, it was perfect for me & my girl. We would both start at ground zero. It was goal-oriented. We could encourage each other, and work together. It was a few days per week, and we could fit it in before her little sister came home from school...

Well, long story short, she was willing to give it a try, and we began. Not every day has been easy, and we are still working towards that 5k. But, every day has been good, even when they start out annoying. There have been a few times that I have cajoled her into her sneakers & out the door... or huffed & puffed encouraging words as we stumbled through our running intervals... And every time, when we are done, there are high-fives & hugs. And smiles. She is proud of her accomplishments and the progress we are making. And I am so proud of her.

The other day, the plan called for a 20 minute run. No stopping, no walking. We hadn't run that far before, and I was, honestly, a bit anxious. And when I tell you that she brought her "A-Game" on that day...? I mean: she carried me on that run. By the time we hit the 10-minute mark, my wagon was draggin'. But, she kept on chugging along, telling me, "You can do it, Mom", and "We got this", and "Don't forget to breathe", and "Five more minutes!"... I was keeping my head down, concentrating, but I could tell she was glancing over at me frequently, making sure I hadn't given up. As much as my lungs were protesting, and my legs became leaden, how could I stop, now that the tables had turned?

We got through it, no stopping. There are still a few more weeks left to train before we hit the 5k mark, but I think we're going to make it.


Anonymous said...

Oh so two can do it, I am sure!

Joyce said...

I am impressed with you both.

Lisa said...

Way to go - both of you!! I'll be cheering you on from here. I must say "your girl" looks so grown up in this photo.

PG said...

that's terrific. I am hopeful that running will be a similar bond for my oldest and me. I am NOT a runner, and I think he has it in him to be one, so I am sure he'll be carrying me before too long.

We too are doing the c25k thing (on your recommendation)

nice shot too!

Anonymous said...

Oh, good for the both of you!!

Hubby is doing the same thing and is currently on 'Week 3, Day 2' of his training. We found iPod guided tracks from a site that is 'Couch to 5K' (C25K) that is slowly getting him into the groove (is that the program you guys are doing??)

So far so good! (I had planned on joining him in this adventure but breaking my left foot 2 weeks ago put the kibash on that! :-)

Good Luck! :-)

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