This weekend as I returned from a 5 mile run to an empty apartment I realized how lucky I am. No, not because the apartment was empty (though the peace and quiet can be nice at times). The real reason is because my family and I are a running family. You see, my son has a goal of increasing his running to someday run a half-marathon. My wife on the other hand is interested in increasing her running to do her first full-marathon. So they were both out running when I returned from mine.
My wife and son left for their run just a few minutes after I left for my 5 miles to get my sons first 4 mile run in, then my wife continued running another 11 miles to finish her 15 miler. I am so proud it brings a tear to my eye to see how both of them are progressing.
I had been a runner most of my life, but not really consistent prior to two years ago. Then my wife started running, as a method to get in shape and help keep her weight where she likes it. The funny thing is that she was running more miles than I ever had before, and it prompted me to take a closer look at my own running. It was then I decided to run longer distances and try my first marathon. My longer running and marathon training also peaked my wife’s interest in seeing what she could do, and she began training for her first half-marathon. (Now she has ran two of them.)
My son wanted to be a part of things and started running one mile a couple times each week with either my wife or me. (The pic above was taken Oct. 2009) This was problematic at first because he would get very tired and the result was often times a headache (migraine) and feeling bad whenever he worked out for any time period. He overheated quickly and had no stamina. However, when he ran consistently each week we noticed that his endurance grew and as a result his headaches became fewer and fewer. The other day he completed his first 4 miler, and had no issues at all.
This newly found endurance for my son translates into many areas, such as playing outdoors and/or other activities in the Florida heat, hiking, biking, judo, etc. He is now enjoying many activities more fully because he doesn’t have the threat of a headache and exhaustion looming over his head.
Running also helps our family in other ways. Now we have a joint hobby to talk about and create conversation as we talk about goals, dreams, and desires. Plus we seem to do more things together, as a family, because this commonality has made us all better friends as well.
So, for those of you with families or loved ones, don’t be afraid to include your family in your “hobby”. Not only will it make you all healthier, but you could gain more friends in the process.