Running with Kids
I enjoy running. For me it is a release and a chance for my body to work out and get over what my mind has been dwelling on and worrying about. It’s a good way to work through emotions and often after a run my perspective has changed even without spending the run thinking through whatever the issue or problem may be.
I’m not fast. Not at all. I never have been, even in high school running cross country I was usually bringing up the rear. And I’m ok with that, I don’t run to win or to go fast, I’d love it if I could average faster than a 9-10 mile on a run longer than 3 miles but that’s probably not ever going to happen.
One doesn’t have to look too far to know that kids today are not as active. Reports list that the average amount of time that kids spend in front of a screen averages 5-7 hours. Granted that includes all screen time (computers, IPad, IPhone, TV, etc) but still that is a ton of time. The 5-7 hours a day is an average, which means they include my kids who maybe have 20 minutes a day (if we are looking up something that they are learning about on the computer), unless the Broncos are playing and then we record the game and fast forward through large chunks of it resulting in about 1-1.5 hours. Kids of yesterday were outside playing, running, jumping, riding bikes and being kids, today they are sitting and looking at glowing screens.
Before we had kids we made a plan that we would be an active family. We are outside A LOT. Coats and gloves in the winter, swimsuits and t-shirts in the summer. We go hiking, biking, take walks and play outside a lot. And so it wasn’t that hard to incorporate the boys into one of my favorite activities of running.
Both boys went on their first runs before they had even been home a week from the hospital. Granted as a just-given-birth-with-labors-lasting-41-hours-and-17-hours-respectically-new-mommy, it wasn’t much of a run, it was more of a waddle-wog. (wog being the word that I give to walk-jogs). But strapped in their strollers with their heads appropriately stabilized and secured away we went. And we’ve continued to go.
Running with a jogging stroller is actually fairly easy, pack some goodies, water and a few toys and you are set. And I think I get bonus points for pushing all that extra weight! It’s fun to have a little someone talking with me as I run along. We did a 5K this past weekend and throughout the race I could hear Caedmon saying “faster mommy, go fast”. I’m not sure I ever went fast enough for him. And I’m a big fan of the under the seat storage area to store extra layers and water as we go along.
Last year however Leighton was big enough to start “running” on his own. I use the word “running” very very lightly. With him it’s a little bit of a run, some walking, a little whining, more running, more walking, a piggy back ride, and then a little more running. He’s done 3 family friendly 5K races with us now which has been fun to do as a family. In no way do I plan on him winning or running fast or becoming an all-star runner, but I want the boys to learn early on that exercise and taking care of their bodies through exercise is fun, easy and you feel really good afterwards.
And so I’ll continue to work on lowering the average of screen time that kids get by keeping our numbers to a minimum and instead teach and enjoy the outdoors and health with my boys and bring them into one of my favorite activities.