Pushing 100 pounds of jogging stroller/kid through the humid morning exhausted me. Dozens of times I decided to quit and didn’t. I did not feel the benefit of my two children in the stroller. Yet, their presence pulled me like gravity into a better athlete.
Permit me to explain three ways I believe children make their caretakers better athletes.
One: children compel you to think outside yourself.
Running long distances exhausts and drains you. Frequently I get to the point of not possessing energy to care. Yet, when my two children depend on me to keep them safe, my mind sharpens.
I pay more attention to form, safety, and hydration. I looked three times at every intersection. I don’t quit and walk because I know they will beg me to get out and walk themselves. Taking my children with raises the bar of excellence for me as a runner.
Two: children inspire you to plan better.
Without the kids I might just grab my phone and shoes and I hit the road. With them I plan my route, snacks, towels, drinks and sunscreen. Yes they transform a run into a traveling circus. They also inspire me to think more intentionally and less lazily.
Three: children push you to increase your capacity.
Running they add 100 pounds to my 195. My capacity must increase to rise to the challenge. Children grant me greater strength as runner.
Of course, this stands out as the greatest blessing of parenting in general! You increase capacity as a human when you become a parent. You have to if you try to parent well.
Parenting in general
Frankly children push me in these three areas of life and not just running. My daughters inspire me to think outside myself because I’m living for more than just me. My daughters inspire me to plan better. I need to in order to love them well. Finally of course, my daughters increase my capacity to face the challenges of life.
I live grateful for the children God gifted to me! As a runner they make me better. As a parent they call out the man God is creating in me. May I grow into the parent Christy and Isabelle need.