This month, it has been obvious that my boys live a runner’s life. Ironically, though, they don’t run. I wish they did as both have a beautiful stride and my youngest has natural speed. At times, I think they are ready to jump into the running scene and, then, they pull back. I think that they are intimidated by seeing me train and race; I think they worry that they have to put in the same dedication and effort, and come home with the same kind of results. When I questioned both, and separately on this, their replies were “no”. But deep down, I think that they are simply intimidated, believing that they need to follow my footsteps, race and race well. One day, they will be ready; meanwhile, I’m not pushing it.
I saw the excitement that running brings to The Littlest Dude on Canada Day when we headed to Bronte Harbour to watch the evening fireworks. When we heard that there were only 4 shuttle buses to take everyone – hundreds of spectators – back to the parking lot with our cars, the two of us knew what that meant. It was going to be a race to the buses. As soon as the final applause started, we were on our feet and running. Follow me! Stay on the outside of the crowd! Run next to the teenagers (since they wouldn’t be rushing home so it was a section that wasn’t moving)! All of my race-start strategies came through, and The Littlest Dude instinctly knew what to do. And we made it; we were on one of the first four buses to leave the harbour.
This past week, we faced the craziness of shuttle buses again when we left the soccer field in Hamilton, where we were watching PanAm Soccer. This time, it was the fourteen year old who sensed what had to be done. In the last few minutes of the game, he looked at us and said, “When the game whistle goes, we have to run.” And he was right. Unlike the hundreds of people at Bronte, we were leaving the stadium at the same time as thousands of other soccer fans. The two boys are smaller than I am so they could weave their way through the crowd inside the stadium more easily than I. Once we were outside, though, the starting horn sounded in our minds and we raced to the shuttles. I heard my youngest coach his older brother “Stay on the outside of the crowd. It’s faster.” I watched them jump curbs and hurdle trash lying on the ground, and I hoped that they wouldn’t bump into anyone. We made it to the buses quickly, which got us to the GO station with 40 minutes to spare. It made us wonder why we rushed out of the stadium but we had fun doing it, so much fun that we raced out of the stadium the same way on the other two nights that we were there.
Each night ( at Bronte Harbour or Tim Horton Stadium), my boys proved to me that they can run. They have speed and they can manoeuvre. For them, running is fun. But, for whatever reason, they aren’t ready to make a commitment to Cross-Country or Track and Field. And I’m just fine waiting for it to happen because, once they do, they are going to be awesome!