My daughter will be 6 years old in a few months. The years seem to slip away like a ballon from a child’s hands. Other than my daughter and I, the house is full of boys, even our cat Ghost is a boy… and acts like one too. Watching birds is a like a sporting event to him. It’s impossible to take a good picture or get his attention while he’s watching the “game”!
Oftentimes my daughter and I end up spending alone time together while all of my boys do their things. We love to do crafts, bake, hike, and shop. But one of our favorite things is go jog/walking together. She is only 6 years old, but she loves to get dressed up in her running clothes, fill her water bottle, and head out with me for a slow jog around the block or a few times around the track at our neighborhood school.
This is our chance to talk and get caught up, our uninterupted time together. I have to say, I cherish these moments. More than anything we do together, running with my daughter is my absolute favorite time with her. When we are doing anything else, it’s interrupted. When we cook, we need to concentrate on measuring. When we shop, we are looking for items to buy. When we’re doing crafts, we are focusing on the task at hand. Running eliminates all of that and we are connecting soul to soul. Even when she is struggling, I feel like I am teaching her how to ride the waves of uneasiness and explaining to her the difference between true pain and discomfort. Sometimes everything goes smooth and we have a glorious time and other times not so much, but we are both learning, growing and most important, connecting soul to soul… just as mother and daughter should.
The majority of the time, she feels proud of herself for going and when I tuck her in at night and ask her what was the best part of her day, it brings me pure joy to hear her say “going for a run with mommy”. We crave alone time with together, and we thrive when we give it to each other. I feel proud that I am teaching her to move. I am creating an awareness in her that her body is a powerful gift, and having a strong and healthy body will create a strong and healthy mind.
It’s a process, just like anything good in life. I’m not going to paint this perfect picture, there are times when she does not want to go or when she is complaining when we get out there. We deal with those moments as they come, but we have just as many wonderful moments when we are laughing, smiling and stopping to look at snails, lizards, bunnies, and birds. Here are a few reasons running with my daughter has been important to me:
Reasons to run with your daughter
Making Memories- The uninterrupted time spent running together is much more meaningful than just about any other activity.
Doing a Race Together- When you sign up for a race together, you have a common goal and can help each other stay motivated. What better motivator than setting the example for your children?
Teaching- Running is a valuable teacher, especially in those difficult moments. It is a great way to teach our daughters to power through and be strong. To explain the difference between true pain and discomfort and that each should be dealt with in a different way.
Alone Time- Children crave one on one attention with their parents, give them these quiet moments where there are zero distractions.
Getting Outside- Running or walking gets you up, moving, and out into nature. There are so many things your children will miss by spending their lives indoors: sunsets, sunrises, wildflowers, wildlife, rocks, rainbows, the feel of different types of weather, the smells, the sounds.. There is nothing like nature to light your spirit up.
Heathy Self Esteem- I am on a mission to teach my daughter healthy self esteem, something that took me until my adult life to learn. I want her to be proud of herself. I don’t want her to feel like she needs to please me or anyone else. When we’re done with a walk, run, or race, I ask her “how do you feel?” When she answers “proud of myself”, I beam with happiness. Running will teach your daughter self love.
As you may know, I am running Women’s Running Series 5K on November 3, 2013. Competitor events are the perfect destination race designed for runners and walkers of all types, including your daughter! This race series has on course entertainment, a no pressure low key feel, and a gorgeous finisher’s medal. Although, my daughter is only 6 and is not eligible to run, you better believe I am going to run it with her in 2015! You only need to be 8 years old to run or walk the 5K and only 12 to run/walk the half marathon. I love this race! I love that it’s mostly women, I love idea of racing with my daughter someday. I can not think of a better way to spend a vacation or a weekend.
There are not many reasons why we all shouldn’t be bringing our daughters along for the ride. We’re running anyway, why not make memories with the one person who means more to us than just about anyone? She will not look back and remember a trip to the mall, but I assure you she will always remember “the time we did that race.”
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I am part of a Women’s Running Series paid campaign by FitFluential LLC. All opinions are my own.