Over the weekend J-man participated in his first running race. Technically, it was a fun run but to him with a bib attached to his shirt and a finisher medal at the end he was running a race.
Over the course of a year or so J-Man has been asking me to race. Every time he would tag along with me to a packet pick-up for one of my races he would want his own. He would ask to run with me, wanted his own goodie bag, his own bib and his own t-shirt.
Finally, this weekend he got all of that. Well, except for the goodie bag. No bag was handed out for this super duper small race but that’s ok. He was stoked to have a bib and t-shirt.
Shirt and bib went on right away.
The morning of the race we headed to city park where the race was being held. J-Man waited in eager anticipation for his turn to run. Well…I had to run first, a 10K that would, hopefully, take me only 55 minutes. BAM! It took me 53 minutes. 5 minutes off my best 10k race time. I was pretty happy! That was the second time J-Man had ever seen me cross the finish line and it was so great to have him come running into my arms.
The fun run started and I ran along side of J-Man encouraging, complimenting and cheering him on. I couldn’t believe that my 3.5 year old was running his first ‘race’ unprompted by me. He asked to run, he got excited to run and he ran almost the whole thing…minus the fall he took and a few moments to recover. I was truly one proud mama.
At the start line…
(check out those fancy new running shoes)
And he’s off!
Almost to the finish line.
Showing off our finisher medals.
This got me thinking about the impact we have on our tykes and the impact is clearly more than we know. J-Man had only seen me cross the finish line one other time and he was an infant then…no recollection of the event. He knows I run races, that I get my gear ready the night before and that I wear a bib on the front of my shirt. I have never explained any of this to him. He has just carefully observed and taken mental notes. He made sure he was prepared for this race the night before with his ‘running clothes’ picked out, he checked that his bib was traveling with us to the park and he made sure that I answered any questions he may have had about what to expect with the race.
I was amazed with all that he knew about running and racing and that his participation was his own doing. I’ve never encouraged him to run, asked him to run or hinted that he should run. He has found it in within himself to do so.
I can only imagine what else he is learning from me. Hopefully, mostly the good stuff.
Do your tykes surprise you by what they soak in…aspects of things you haven’t taught them? What has your tyke learned from you that you weren’t totally aware of?