Sunday, April 17, 2005

My Little Motivator

Yesterday morning I got up actually looking forward to an outdoor run. I’ve been dabbling on my treadmill for months, but have had a very hard time getting “into” it. I can’t find my rhythm or my stamina. People keep saying it’s the altitude – that it’s kicking my butt, but I’m not sure I buy that. I’m old and out of shape. It’s harder, as you age, to get back into shape. I stopped running regularly when I started my job last fall and started trying to get back into it some time in February. I keep waiting for something to change. My attitude, mainly.

Now that it’s warming up, I need to start running outside. I’m a procrastinator by nature. I need a goal to get something done. For example, if I know 28 people will be all over my house doing an indoor scavenger hunt – I’ll clean it top to bottom. If I know I’ll have to run the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Run on May 7th, I’ll start training more seriously. So that’s what I did. I signed up for a run that last year would’ve been a no brainer – a 5K. Three point one miles. Nothing. I’ve run 15 miles in a row while training for a marathon back in my day. I can run. Well, I used to be able to run. Now I run and walk. Walk and run. I have yet this spring been able to run for thirty minutes without stopping to walk. I’m hoping this upcoming "race" will get me going.

So, back to my run yesterday morning. As I was lacing up my shoes, Harry walked into the kitchen rubbing his eyes and squinting due to the light. He was barely awake as I asked him if he wanted to come running with me. To my surprise, he said, “Yes” without hesitation. It was so unlike him. This boy of mine who avoids getting dressed like most people avoid the dentist.

Nine out of ten weekday mornings, Harrison fights getting his clothes on. He will come up with excuses. He will run away. He will lay on his bed and have a tantrum, just to prolong the kiss of death – putting on his shirt, pants and socks. I will never understand what the problem is. Even as a toddler, he would run from us when it was time to put his shoes on to go out. To the park. To a friend's. To the ice cream store. Even when he knew that we were going to a really great place, he would figure out a way to avoid putting on his shoes. It made no sense. It still makes no sense, although I do have to admit that the shoe issue has diminished a bit.

Ok, I digressed again. So yesterday morning when he agreed to come with me, I didn’t really believe him. It would mean getting dressed. Quickly. Two things that he abhors. I played along, however. “OK Harrison, you can come with me, but I’m leaving right now. You’ll have to get dressed.” (Here’s the best part of the story) “OK Mom, but can I have some milk?” he asked as he trotted into his room and put on his clothes. I was absolutely dumbfounded. He got dressed, put on his jacket and then jumped right into the Burley for our run.

Not used to running outside (which is harder than on a treadmill) and then adding to that a 42 pound boy, I started working on my goal with a bit more difficulty. We ran through our neighborhood up to The Secret Forest – a little ravine between the houses with a stream running through it. Harry had to get out at the end of the ravine so that I could pull the Burley up a steep flight of stairs. He waited at the top for me, but refused to get back in. And then he gave me my second surprise of the morning. “I want to run, too.” And boy did he. He ran for about a mile with me. We had so much fun! Every time I thought he was slowing down, I’d look over and he would just smile or start skipping. It was a truly joyful ten minutes.

The rest of the weekend was nice. We had a lot of family time which means lots of sibling rivalry, lots of household duties, but lots of quality togetherness. Thank you Harry for our wonderful morning. You’ve helped me – I feel like running again.

No comments: