Looking back I realized my husband and I have signed up for a race of some sort, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, triathlon, etc. every year for the past 8 years. Good for us, right?! A little background, I used to HATE running. Just the thought of going for a run made me cringe. When I decided eight years ago to sign up for my first race I asked my husband to join me. He was in no way a runner and thought I was crazy, but with a little convincing he agreed.
We decided to go big and sign up for a half marathon, what were we thinking?! Best decision ever. Our long runs on the weekend training for the race soon became ‘our time’. We talked about any and everything. How our week was, what was going on in our lives, etc. Training together for such a big goal brought us closer than ever. We ran our first half marathon on a beautiful day in April that soon became one of the most memorable weekends of my life. My husband decided that such a big accomplishment needed to be commemorated and he proposed! Needless to say, running became an important part of our lives.
Now that we have kids I’ve found running as a family benefits all of us. Having that standing appointment to run as a family on Saturday mornings is something I look forward to. It gives me a goal to strive for – to be able to keep up with my husband who pushes the double jogging stroller and still has the energy to push me to run longer and faster. He keeps me focused when I want to give up. Running together keeps me motivated when my routine starts to get stale and I need a push.
It gives me quality time with my family. How? It gives us time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to reconnect. We give each other, and our little ones, our undivided attention. My husband and I get that time to talk, albeit in short sentences, about things that matter. We have conversations about things we don’t get much time to talk about during the busy week. I read a study that said men are more open in conversation when they are being active and I truly believe that!
It also gives our kids time to talk to us without distraction. They love it because they can talk about whatever is important to them at the moment and we, for once, have nowhere else to be and nothing else to do but listen. It is fun to hear our kids ask you questions like ‘Mommy why don’t you run as fast as Daddy?’, ‘Why is the sky blue?’ or best yet, ‘Can I run with you when I get big?’ MELT MY HEART!
We are together as a family for the allotted time each week when we run. It allows my husband and myself to be role models for our kids and show them that being active is just part of what we need to do to enjoy life. My kids get to see us working hard and pushing each other out of our comfort zones. We get to demonstrate what hard work looks like and show them how to encourage and support others.
Running together has become a fun tradition that everyone benefits from, which is why I will carry on. Do you have a fun family fitness tradition you love?
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