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Since the Kid got stitches a while back, she’s been really frustrated. She couldn’t go to swim practice, she missed the Championship, and when Running Club started, she couldn’t run.

She’s mostly better now, but swimming is on Spring Break, and Running Club started without her. So I offered to train with her.

I’ve always maintained that I only run when chased, so on the one hand, this is a major parenting sacrifice. But on the other hand, I’m really out of shape, and I’m hoping that if I can keep some kind of training up through the summer, I’ll do a better job of climbing mountains when it comes time to visit Vermont in August.

The Kid didn’t really realize what she was getting into. She’s always amazed by how out of shape I am. Athletic endeavors come easily to her, and a part of her just can’t imagine what it’s like to not be good at something like running. But I’ve been really proud of her response.

We’ve only trained twice so far, but after the first few minutes (Mom, maybe you should run a *little* faster…) she really seemed to understand that I’m trying, and she’s going to have to be patient. I’m quite open about it. I told her flat out that I’m starting from a place where I’m really not good at this at all, but I’m willing to work hard. So the first day, we ran once around our little park. I was slow. I felt like I was going to die. But I did it. After that, the Kid ran inside to use the bathroom, and I walked another lap with KPD and Harpo. When the Kid got back, we decided that was enough for the first day.

Then yesterday, we ran the first lap, walked the second, and Kid suggested we do a half lap running. What delights me about the whole thing is that she wants to do it together, even though it’s hard for her to wait for me. She did half of the first lap backwards so she could talk to me. On the one hand, it was completely humiliating. She’s eleven. But on the other hand, it was so sweet. When she couldn’t wait any longer, she finished out the first lap ahead of me and then waited for me to catch up so we could walk together. As I came down the last straightaway, she cheered, “Go, Mommy!” My dogs were barking (I had already walked over three miles with KPD earlier in the afternoon) and my breath was labored, but it felt really good to hear that cheer.

So we have a deal. The Kid will be patient and keep nudging me to get out there, and I will work hard and keep training with her. If I can do it, we will run the 5K near her school together in May. If I’m not ready by then, we’ll find a Color Run this summer.

This is another thing I never thought I’d be doing. And we’ll see if it really happens. We both have ADHD, so this could be a short-lived experiment. But still, I’m branching out and trying new things, all because of this person we brought into our family. Parenting sure is an adventure!

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