Wednesday, June 5, 2013

THE PEANUT GALLERY: A Running Start

"Find the level of intolerance you can tolerate and stay there." -David Horton, Ultra-marathon runner

When Peanut did this all on her own one day as a baby, my heart melted:

Couldn't you just eat her?
Look at that face.
That, my friends, is photo proof of why you don't sweat putting stuff away as soon as you get home. If I didn't forget about my sneakers after just kicking them off and leaving them by the stairs after my run that day, this spontaneous toddler deliciousness never would have happened. (Speaking of deliciousness, she'd even stopped scarfing down that box of Annie's chocolate bunnies to try on my size 13s.) In that moment, I secretly dreamed of a day where Peanut and I would wake up early on the weekends and go running together. I dreamed of her eventually beating me. Of her forcing herself to slow down so I could keep up, but not say anything to spare my feelings. It would be one of our things. Just us.

A couple of years ago, I asked Peanut if she'd like to go running with me when she's older. "No daddy," she said. "Girls don't run." Wait...what? I realized that Peanut is a very linear thinker. She sees daddy run. Not mommy. Therefore, boys run and girls don't. Silly Peanut. "Of course they do," I said. "In fact, a lot of girls who run are faster than daddy." (I'm not that fast. I just make myself sound that way to my impressionable daughter.) Later that day, Peanut and I were walking Luna in the park. (This was pre-Matey.) And wouldn't you know... the local girls cross country team just happened to run by us. Score.

"Look at those girls, honey. They're running."

"And they're faster than you, daddy."

"Yes they are. Much faster."

When she finally got a new pair of sneakers, real sneakers for gym class when she started Kindergarten, I asked her, "Will you go running with daddy now?"

"Never," she shot back without hesitation. She told me she "hates getting sweaty."

Well, never say never, Peanut...

My running buddy.
This past Sunday the three of us ran ran a 2-mile fun run in our town. Peanut's first road race. She was, to put it mildly, less than enthused about the whole thing...

Refusing to smile.
She said she was scared. Of the crowd. Of losing us. Mostly, of the unknown. Even though we insisted we would stay with her. But she did it. Although, it took her a while to warm up. She walked at first. But we pushed her. Enticed her.

Refusing to run.
My Director was once again a model of patience, sticking by Peanut and sweating through the whole race. She was going to sit it out because of a bad back, but she didn't because Peanut was in one of those "mommy-only" moods and I was in one of those "I have no patience/she needs tough love" moods. As usual, My Director's way worked.

There she goes!
We had fun. Peanut got a kick out of it when I would run ahead, only to turn around and find them on the course again. But don't let the pictures fool you. In two miles she managed to complain about her leg, side, ankle, and stomach. That's perfect. All of those things hurt me almost every time when I'm on a run. She even complained when I was going to beat her to the finish line, and then again when I slowed down to let her pass me.

Peanut yelling at me for taking her picture
at the finish line.
When I said we're going to run this race every year, she shouted, "Noooooo!"

Let me tell you a secret, Peanut: I don't like running either. The waking up early, the eating certain things before, during, and after, the gear, the stretching. It all annoys me at one point or another. But I do it because of the way it makes me feel when I'm done. I don't intend for you to know how I truly feel until you read this. Hopefully when I'm dead. And if in fact you are reading this when I'm gone, it will hopefully be very long time from now. Thanks, in part, to running. Unless I get hit by a bus... while running.
Water after the run
Carbing up with a bagel
On another walk with Luna that same spring that we saw the girls cross country team, Peanut was running pretty fast ahead of us. I asked her to slow down and wait for us. She would for a few seconds, then take off at a sprint again. So I asked her again if she wanted to be a runner. Not for a living, just as a hobby. "No," she said definitively. "I want to be a gymnastics or a luau (dancer)."

Whatever makes her happy and healthy. Then again, I didn't start running until I was 30. Plenty of time to catch up, kid. Plenty of time.

For more on my love-hate relationship with running, click HERE to read about the last half-marathon I ran.

1 comment:

  1. What a cut little angel you have there. I don't usually read mushy "I love my kid" blogs.. yours caught my eye. I'm so glad I stopped by. This is an adorable little blog story.

    ReplyDelete

Share

Widgets

THE STREAK IS ALIVE!



What is "The Streak?" Click here to read more.