28 January. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Finishing in places 19 and 200 at Parkrun
I love my children more than anything and am proud of all four of them. I don’t have favourites, although they all know I tell them they each are, generally for different reasons. Each of them is very different and yet they are all kind and happy kids. As we have three teenagers and a toddler at the moment though, they do have their moments.
My third oldest, Barn is 14, and fell into running by mistake. He started coming out with me when I was doing Couch to 5k and to be honest got a bit frustrated with me. I was never fast or slow enough for him, as I was following the plan, and I refused to divert from it. I admit this might have been annoying but without it I would never have got to where I am with my running.
I booked a 5k for us both and we raised money for a new Air Ambulance in Cornwall. While it gave me the target I wanted to push myself, I got a bit concerned as Barn seemed to lose interest and for a while didn’t train with me at all. I wasn’t sure if he would even want to run. But then something clicked and he did start going out more often. He wasn’t a keen runner but he enjoyed it more, and with that first race, he realised he was quite good.
Last year he started upping his distances and began to run longer 10k races with me, until he realised he was faster than me, then he started waiting for me at the end. The more he tried, the faster he got, and it was exciting to see. He got very competitive, but mostly with himself. At the end of a race last year a gentleman stopped us to tell us we should get him into a running club to train properly, but due to his age, it was hard, most near us only take over 18’s due to child protection.
At the start of the school year he was picked to represent his college for Cross Country, and there after the race we met a coach keen for Barn to join his team. It was exciting, and although Barn was nervous, he went, and began to enjoy it. Training was very different, suddenly he was running shorter distances than he had been used to, and the others were naturally faster, but he had the stamina to keep going, and week by week he closed the gap.
Shortly after this he qualified for the Cornwall Team, and has the chance to travel with his team and represent the county at races all over the country. It’s very exciting for him, and a great opportunity. Pushing himself out of his comfort zone with running and marshalling at parkrun, as well as joining the club has been good for him, his confidence has grown and I am proud of the lovely young man he is becoming.
On Saturday we ran at Eden parkrun. It’s a three lap course, where we run down into the pit by the biomes and back up before repeating. He always beats me, but we have a bit of a challenge where he tries to lap me and I try to stop him. It’s good encouragement for both of us and so far I have managed to fend him off. Today he shot past me on my second loop, slapping me on the back as he went, finishing 19th, which isn’t bad for a 14 year old. I have never felt so proud, and although I have a cold, and wasn’t so fast as normal he shaved a whole minute off his personal best so would have probably beaten me anyway. He then joined me for my final lap, using it as his cool down.
It’s so nice to see a hobby that I love being enjoyed by my son, and to see him doing so well at it. Running has helped me so much and I hope I’ve helped to instil a coping mechanism that will be there for him in the future if and when he needs it.
Have you managed to encourage their children or partners into running or other hobbies? Do you find it encouraging or challenging to share something like a hobby with others?
Thank you as always for reading.