The day before our marathon, Willa ran in her first official race. The Big Wild Life/Healthy Futures kid's 2k fun run. She had looked forward to this race since the beginning of her summer Kidz Running program- twice weekly classes of games, drills, and runs to help instill a love for running in kids. It's sad that in this day some kids have to actually relearn what comes naturally....running. Ever ask a kid to go and grab something for you? What do they do? They RUN to get that thing! It's what they do! Unless, of course, their lives have been hijacked by screens and shitty diets and toys that numb their brains. It was uplifting to see 8 HUNDRED excited kids on the Park Strip ready to run! The parents got to run with their kids as well. I loved supporting Willa and cheering her on! Willa didn't come in first as she had been predicting for the previous 3 weeks ;) but all thought of "winning" the race seemed to be left behind when she realized that running over a mile was tough work in and of itself! She walked at one point for about 20 seconds due to the side stitch that she often experiences-probably due to the amount of gabbing and yelling she did as she ran! But kept a steady pace for the rest. Close to the finish line, her classmate who took off like a bat out of hell at the start and then petered out at the end, told Willa to stop and walk the rest with her. You know, that thing that girls seem to do to each other? The whole "come to the bathroom with me!" thing: "I don't want you to pass me so I'm going to make you feel obligated to walk with me". I was very proud that Willa didn't acquiesce. This run, and the challenge it presented, meant a lot to her. She passed her buddy and encouraged her to RUN to the finish. Which she did, so YAY Willa AND friend!
One might look at that photo below of the table filled with medals that each child received and think,"Ugh. Rewarding EVERYONE? No winners medals?" The whole "rewarding mediocrity" thing. Well....YEAH! NOTHING mediocre about getting up early in the morning to run a race! Each kid showed up willingly and ran happy and free!!!!! They weren't home sitting in front of the idiot box. They ran hard. They were proud! Give 'em ALL a damn medal!!!!
Willa has worn hers almost every day since. She was SO proud of herself! "Mommy! PLEASE find me another race to run!!!" She's got the bug. Don't worry, kiddo. Soon we'll be running as equals together on the trail. And it won't be long before you're blazing past yer ole mom in the races!
I look SO forward to running with her! She's been one of my biggest supporters in my running...I can't wait to do the same for her.
|Pre-race nerves. Note the vibram 5 fingers!!!!|
|Group warms ups with a friend from school|
|"DON'T beat me, Daddy!!!"|
|You GOT this, kiddo!!! Go, GO, GO!!!!|
|Proud kids ready for more!|