This morning I celebrated 11 years of running by going on a four mile run. My two oldest boys tagged along on their bikes—very happy to be outside so early. We had a great run and afterwards sat on the porch for a few minutes drinking ice cold Gatorade before we had to inside get ready for the day. As we sat on the porch I thought about how much I enjoy having my boys come with me on these runs. When I first started running, it was something I enjoyed doing by myself. Granted, I didn’t have any kids then but I relished the solitude. The exercise helped me clear my mind and focus on different things. Then Marathon Girl came along and everything changed. Running with her was a great bonding experience for the two of us. She kept pushing me to run faster and keep up with her. I loved the challenge she provided but most of all I just liked being with her and sharing some time with her doing something she loves.
It’s kind of the same experience with my boys. There’s some father-son bonding that goes on during these runs. When they’re not racing far ahead of me and tell me to catch up (they get that from their mother) and I enjoy talking to them or just listen to them chatter on about whatever’s on their mind as we navigate the running paths in our neighborhood. It seems like I learn more about them during these morning runs then just about any other time. I enjoy this time so much that on the mornings I end up running alone, I find myself wishing they were riding along with me.
There’s a part of me that’s amazed that, after 11 years, my body is still able to run mile after mile every morning. I keep thinking that one day it’s going to say enough and force me to swim or bike instead. But I’m happy my body is still holding up because I can still do the occasional run Marathon Girl—even if it means taking all the kids with us. And I’m glad my boys like coming with me. I hope they know how much I enjoy having them with me.
I hope it’s something they want to do so long as my body can keep putting one foot in front of the other.