Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Keeping Pace

A couple of weekends ago I ran a 5k with my little runner girl. I am not a runner, but K is built for it. Even though it is not my favorite thing, I have recently found myself going for jogs with her and realizing it is a way to fill her love tank.

When K asked me to run this race with her I agreed under the assumption that she didn't have the endurance for a 3.2 mile run. Never underestimate the energy of a 9 year old on a mission! She not only ran the whole thing, she beat me and won her age category.

Always one to look for a lesson, I thought a lot about preparation, parenthood and pace as we ran. My little energizer bunny started out so strong. I wanted to teach her how to keep a steady pace. For the first mile we ran together. She wanted to sprint, and while she seemed to need my companionship at first, once she got comfortable we both realized I was holding her back.

During the second mile she found friends to run with and they eased away from the parents with whom they'd started the race. Occasionally their erratic sprint/recover strategy would create a window for me to check in. By the third mile the young crew had found their competitive groove and moved far enough ahead that I could merely watch (as I huffed and puffed) marveling at their youth and energy.

I thought a lot about my role as her mother/running partner. Should I be trying to stay with her? Was it wise to hold her back with me? Ultimately, I decided my role was to keep a steady pace and be ready with an encouraging word for her when our paths overlapped.

The implications on motherhood were clear--especially as she approaches the tween years. I've already run my race of childhood. It is inappropriate for me to relive each age and stage trying to keep pace/redo. Trying to ride all the emotional waves up and down--sprinting then gasping--would exhaust us both and render me essentially useless.

I am running a race of my own, but it's a different category with different expectations. My role in my children's race is pace setter/keeper, encourager, coach, supporter--but it is important that I stay conditioned for that role. My pace should be set by keeping in step with the Spirit through prayer, accountability, Bible Study and working out my faith.

"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus." from Hebrews 12: 1-2


Marty said...

Found your blog tonight. Don't know how...but glad I did! Your insights in this post are spot-on. Thank you for sharing!

cat said...

Totally beautiful post

Julie said...

This is one of the most fantastic posts on how to parent, and how to view our role as parents. Thank you SO much for your thoughts. They are deep, and very pertinent for me raising a 4.5 year old, a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old. Thank you.

Maria(h) said...

You are a gifted analoger..my new word. I especially love this one. What a great perspective on motherhood.
And good for you for getting out there and running with her!