Inspiration From an Unexpected Source

Posted: 2015-01-04 in Life The Universe and Everything
Tags: , , ,

Anyone who interacts with me on even a casual basis probably knows that I enjoy running. Heck, my blog and email addresses let that cat out of the bag for folks who haven’t even met me! But as I joked to my friends some years back, there was a time after college when I more aptly should have used the nickname “RossUsedToRun” (despite it not rolling off the tongue nearly as nicely).  Between health issues and a general lack of motivation, I had seemingly interminable periods of non-running life interspersed between bouts of training, usually for a race, after which I tended to drop the habit pretty much cold-turkey the next time something came up.

Last spring was the latest of those dry spells, and my wife’s determination to run her first ever half-marathon this past December on our wedding anniversary was the impetus to get me going again. From my birthday in August until the day of the race in December, I was back on the wagon, training and loving it. We ran the race – Dee was amazing, and I? Well, let’s just say that this race set a new record for the slowest half-marathon I’ve run yet. Amazing race, I just didn’t turn out an amazing performance to match, but that’s completely off-topic and a story better left for another day.

I took some time off after the race to “recover” and could feel myself sliding into another bout of non-running-Rossness. I didn’t want that, but couldn’t figure out how to change it around. I could feel myself giving in to my personal version of Matthew Inman’s Blerch. As a last-ditch effort, I decided to institute a running streak to get me over my hump and turn myself around – in 2015, I plan to run a minimum of 1 mile a day, every day, adding on extra miles as training plans call for it. The “off days” may only be a mile, (as will any day I have to travel for work), but this kind of dedicated schedule may do more for me than any normal training plan could. Three days in and I’m doing great – I’m looking forward to my runs and no Blerch in sight.

Except that the streak isn’t really what is inspiring me right now. What’s got me so galvanized about running again is my tenacious little 7-year old who I invited out for a jog with me on Friday, who ended up running virtually the entire mile with a smile on her face, and who saved enough energy to “beat me” in a race to the “finish line” at the end of our second lap around the block. My daughter’s energy impressed me so much that Saturday I invited her to join me on another 1 mile jaunt around the neighborhood. This time? In the rain.

She took me up on my offer (really, what self-respecting 7-year-old wouldn’t jump at a chance to go running in the rain?), and we geared up to brave the elements. After stepping out into the rain-shower, she giggled at the raindrops dripping off her nose. We strolled over to the corner where we start our route, and as she took off, I actually had to speed up to keep apace her churning little legs.

I couldn’t help but keep looking over at my daughter, who laughed as she splashed through puddles and cut a swath through the raindrops. She ran so freely, so naturally, so happily. Her bangs plastered to her forehead, she told me, “I don’t care that it’s raining, I like it.” I agreed.

Near the end of our mile, we passed a decorative shrub that she calls “The Pretty Tree”, which happens to be our designated starting line for our last 50-meter-all-out-go-for-broke-race-to-the-finish. She took off, squealing with laughter as she cut directly in front of me and forced me to slow down or tangle my much-longer legs up in her own. Despite my “best efforts” to pull ahead, she managed to outpace me and tap the lamp-post a single stride ahead of my reaching hand, winning our race for the second day in a row. “I told you I’d beat you,” she said. “I know you did,” I replied.

As we strolled back to our house, still breathing fast but cooling down quickly in the remaining drizzle, I told The Bean how much I liked running with her. I didn’t mention how she had inspired me to get back out there and leave my lazy days behind me once again, but I’m pretty sure she’s got that one all figured out, already.

  1. MsRedPen says:

    What a great running partner! 🙂 Kids run so naturally and with real joy. Cheers to a perfect start to 2015 running.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] though, I wrote a blog post approximately this time last year, where I discussed where my inspiration for a running streak came from. Since that day, I kept the streak going, and some great things came of […]


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