There are times in life when we realize that the things we say to our children do actually have an impact. Today was one of those days for me. I had decided to pull my 7 year old son away from the TV and video games for an afternoon of “work”. This consisted of him riding along with me to feed the cattle and open a few gates. Beneficial to me as much as him because I would not have to open and close all the gates. We were talking about nothing in particular when he asked a seemingly innocent question.
“So dad, how far are you going to run in your next marathon?” (they are ALL marathons to him) I responded that I was thinking about a 50 miler and he said, with wide eyes, “FIFTY MILES?” I said jokingly, “Yeah it's crazy, I CAN'T run 50 miles.” This is where I screwed up. “DAD!!! You said CAN'T!! Can't just sat on a log and froze to death. You have to keep trying if you want to do anything!” I couldn't help but smile as I looked at him. Filled with pride I said, “You're right.” Then he added, “If you get tired you just keep on walking and if you're thirsty you can just get a drink from your water bottle. Easy peazy.”
I think about how many times I have told him about CAN'T and freezing to death on the log over the years. Any time the word can't is said we have a discussion about it. It is THE bad word in our house and nobody is allowed to use it. I guess this includes me even though it has never been an issue before today. Most of the time I wander around, wondering if my kids understand the lessons that I am trying to teach them. Today I learned a lesson. Practice what you preach, they DO pay attention.
I guess the decision has been made and I will be signing up for the Ouachita Trail 50 Mile Race in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 17th. My son has always been my hero and part of my motivation to challenge myself but now his little voice will join the rest of the crowd in my head. His will definitely be the loudest and most welcome anytime I have doubts about my abilities.
This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........