Yesterday, Patterson Elementary School kicked off their weekly fun runs. Students and their families were encouraged to come out and it is intended to be a great way to get kids involved in fitness at an early age. The fun runs are going to be every week.
It began right after school and participants could walk, jog or run around the schoolyard two times. I am guesstimating that the distance was approximately 1/4 mile. Piece of cake, especially since I had already run 4 miles earlier that day.
They kicked it off by lining the kids up by grade level and letting each grade start off about 30 seconds apart. They began with the big kids. Of course, every single kid set out sprinting. Being a runner, I shook my head and then said to Madison, "Don't do that, you'll never make it all the way around twice. Start off slow and you will be able to keep going." Did she listen to me? Big, fat, NO! She took off running; as I ran beside her I said, "Slow down, you can't keep this pace up for long."
The next thing I knew, a little kid (maybe 5) next to me totally wiped out. I stopped, told Madison to keep going and then asked him if he was OK? It was at that moment that I realized he would have been fine if I wouldn't have asked him (do you remember that when you were a kid?). As soon as he saw my concern, he started bawling. I came down to his level to check him out and there wasn't a scratch on him. He just sat there with his hands over his face (embarrassed) crying his eyes out. I couldn't get much sense out of him so I told him to head back to the start. With that, I stood up and turned around to start running and almost collided with a MUCH larger boy who was about the same age. Being out of shape and totally overweight, he must have stopped when I stopped and had been waiting for my attention. As soon as he caught my eye, he burst in to tears and said, "I want my Mommy!" I tried not to laugh at the disaster that had struck the "Fun Run" within the first 50 yards. I told him he should head back to the start with the other boy.
I left them in my dust and ran ahead to catch up with Madison who was now walking. I was yelling, "good job, keep up the good work" as I passed all the kids that seemed like they were struggling. It is amazing how much that encouragement worked. A lot of them started to speed up a little. When I reached Madison, I said, "You ready to start running again?" She agreed and off we went passing some fifth grade boys. As we passed them, I heard one of them say, "What's a Mom doing out here?" This was followed by laughter. It was at that point that I realized, I was the only Mom out there running. There were two Dad's. A total of three adults participating. There were lots of parents standing around watching. The school organizes a run to encourage fitness and the parents can't even participate? What kind of example does that set? L - A - M - E !
With lots of encouragement, Madison did her two laps receiving a high five from the principal (I got one too). It was a combination of walking and jogging, but she finished. I was proud of her.
After the run, we started to walk home. She asked me, "Did you know those boys were laughing at you?" I said, "Yes, does it bother you?" She said, "Only because they were laughing at my Mommy and that's mean." We had a little more dialogue about it and I gave her the opportunity to tell me that she didn't want me to participate any more. She didn't.
I told her not to worry about those boys, and if they laugh at me again, I'm going to challenge them to a race. Which, of course, I will win! At this point, I fear I am treading dangerously close to the "Mom you just totally embarrassed me" line. We went home and had a good laugh about it with Daddy and decided that next week it would be funny if I skipped all the way around and wore pigtails.
On an unrelated note: read today's HubPages article!