My Son, The Athlete?

I've been trying to interest my son in sports since the beginning of his life. And up until this year, it seemed like he had no athletic interests.

In fact, last summer he said "mom, can you please stop trying to play sports with me. I just don't like that kind of stuff." I was devastated. It's not that we're overly athletic or big sports people, but I really wanted to find something he could be part of and enjoy.

Late in the summer, I got a quick glimpse of a potential sport for him. We were walking in the forest (as we do all summer long... I'm so missing it right now!) and he asked if he could take off into the trees and run ahead. He took to the leaf covered trails like a gazelle. He ran so quickly and joyfully. I thought to myself, "he could be a great cross-country runner" and thought I had found an outdoor running partner...once my daughter was old enough to be on her own that is.

Then school started and the school held a mandatory running fundraiser. Barf. Our school literally runs at least 2 fundraisers a month and I was annoyed. But it was mandatory and all the kindergarteners would be running laps for 45 minutes in the drizzly rain. Moms were encouraged to watch, so my daughter and I came to cheer him on.

What stuck me first was the fact that he came running down the hill with his class and he seemed excited about the run. It was a cold and rainy day and he has asthma, so I was a little tense. I yelled to him, but he just chucked his water bottle at me (that I had diligently packed that morning in anticipation of the run) and ran on by.

I tried to stop him throughout the race and ask him to walk for while. My mind kept thinking, "slow down, you have asthma, it's cold outside..." But for once in my life, I kept my thoughts to myself. He ran lap after lap, happily showing me each tag he had received for crossing the lap lines. He just kept running. All 45 minutes. In the cold rain. With asthma. And he wasn't wheezing. He was excited to have beat every girl in the class and to have had more laps than the boys he knew.

Maybe he could be an athlete? Maybe he would be a runner? I forgot all about it until yesterday when we spent the snowy cold day at the indoor gymnastics gym. My children ran around and played for almost 2 hours before I noticed kids walking around a group of hurdles lined up on a track. I asked my kids to try it and they mimicked the other children. What-EV!

So I did what any bad mom would do, and I pushed all the kids aside and jumped the hurdles myself. Wahoo! It felt good to be the winner. Yes, it was against 3-5 year olds, but still. All the kids were impressed. All except my son. He had that "ew, if mom can do it, I can so do it" look in his eyes. He moved me out of the way and cleared both of the first 2 hurdles, only biffing on the last one. But honestly, I had to throw some mean height to clear that last one and I'm not sure that he had the leg span for it.

But nonetheless, I was impressed. I realized that he could be athletic and not be in a "team" sport. What better sport could there be for a young boy than one he actually enjoys. I won't be signing him up for any running classes or groups. I'm just going to let him enjoy running for the sheer joy of it, and when he's older, maybe he'll want to join me on the trails and take up this fun sport for himself.

9 comments:

blueviolet said...

Yahoo!!!! I love that you got out there and did it!!!!

Lauren said...

Wow, it sounds like you could have a real talent on your hands. I say it's a blessing for anyone to be so excited about running. I definitely don't get that enthusiastic about it. :)

5thsister said...

:o)

This made me smile! I hope he has, indeed, found his sport!

Becca said...

How cool..there really is something for everyone! But I think my sport is Wii Bowling lol

Mary said...

You have to love running. Both of my kids run with me on weekends. They started joining me at about age 9. Neither one is much for the traditional popular sports. Interestingly, I think my son (who did team cross-country for the first time last fall) gained a much better sense of being on a team--as well as setting his own goals--than he ever did while playing soccer or baseball, which he tried when he was younger.

veronica said...

DANG! Running! woof.

Margaret said...

That is great that he found something that he really liked!!!!

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

I'm glad he found something he loves. He'll probably love running all his life then!

Working Mommy said...

Cross country running is a great sport for him!! It will keep him fit and it seems like he enjoys it! You never known..a lot of runners also play a sport like football or lacrosse...so a "team" sport might come in the future.

~WM

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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