5k Training or How to Motivate a Twelve Year Old

My son and I have been on an exercising kick lately and have been training for a 5k that we will be racing on September 13. I am not very physically fit and neither is my son. Yes, I can walk and snowshoe for ten or more miles and 100 mile bike rides are nothing for me, but running, well…running is another story completely. Throughout my grade school years I hated running. I feared gym class because it meant running and I couldn’t run. I couldn’t run because I was never taught the proper way to run. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I started learning the proper way to run.

My son is so similar to me. I’m always amazed by this, perhaps, it is because I am a single mother and he is around me a lot that running is also a problem for him. Unlike me, he is goal oriented, stubborn, but goal oriented. It was his idea to run a 5k.

Mom, I want to run a 5k and I want to win!

Of course, I had to encourage him. What parent wouldn’t encourage their child to do something like this. And thus began our 5k training.

We have been training for three weeks and every training session we are able to run a little longer and a little faster.Sometimes he is willing to run and sometimes he hates me for making him go:

You’re killing me! I’m going to die! This is too hard! I can’t do this!

I keep reminding him that the only way he’ll learn how to run is if we keep running. He is starting to see the difference all the running is making and slowly his words of discouragement and failure are turning into words satisfaction and accomplishment:

Mom, I can talk while we’re running, this is so great!

Watching him as he has gone from a child who could barely run to one who can run over four miles at a time has been amazing and I can’t wait to see him compete in his first race. He’ll never know how proud I am of him and how much of an inspiration he is to me.