Today I joined my daughter for a short run. One rule of parenting that I learned from my sister-in-law is that whenever a child invites me to participate in an activity with him or her, I acquiesce. Working out is no exception. Over the years I have attended zumba and yoga classes with my daughters as well as lifted weights in the gym with various members of the Sticklen Offspring Clan. Thus, when the youngest daughter asks me to go for a run with her, I don my running gear and join her in the great outdoors (or on the track at the Y. Both work just fine for me.)
However, over the years my running skills (which I have honed since I was eleven years old, mind you) have declined significantly. Unfortunately, the lack of speed and efficiency on the track that I now possess reared their ugly heads today as I tried, in vain, to keep up with the Red Head’s quick pace. I realized, as I panted and stumbled twenty yards behind her, that there are five reasons why she is faster than I these days.
Those reasons are as follows:
5. The Red Head has not had back surgery. In January 2011, smack in the middle of Snowmageddon, the greatest back surgeon in the world - or at least here in Joplin - performed a microdiscectomy on my back to help repair a herniated disc. After forty-five minutes of surgery (and about four hours total in the outpatient surgery center), I left the hospital pain free for the first time in six months. I tell you, that man is a miracle worker. For the first four years following my surgery I hesitated to run at all, but I recently was told I could run up to about two-and-a-half miles at a time and, as I mentioned earlier, when a kid asks me to join her in an activity, I do it.
4. The Red Head has longer legs than I do. And, everyone knows that longer legs equal larger strides, thus making for a more efficient run.
3. The Red Head is in good shape.
2. The Red Head is much more athletic than I am. In fact, all four of my children are much more athletic than I. But at least I play the guitar.
And, the number 1 reason why my daughter runs faster than I do....
The Red Head is sixteen. And I? Am not….
How about you? Do you work out with your kid(s)? Are you a runner, and, if so, do your children share your affinity for running?