I took my kids with me on my midweek training run a few days ago. It was a spectacular SoCal afternoon, they had no homework, and I had to get my run in. Conditions were perfect!
I usually don't have to goad them into going with me. My daughter is nearly 14, slim, with legs that go on forever...a natural runner. She is going to join her high school's cross country team this fall and is seriously stoked about it. She is not a complainer, and will just take off and go. She has done several 5K's with me already, and feels the runners high.
My son is 10 1/2, and enjoys getting out and being active. Running for him is harder. He is built like a tank and can tire easily. He is great with the watch...keeping me on track with my timing. He loves to tell me when to stop and start. He is the one who needs the encouragement that he CAN do it. We work on it together, and he too has joined me on many 5K's. He can do so much more than he thinks he can. A huge job of mine is to show him, encourage him, and help him fly. I love the sense of achievement he has when we finish a race.
I am thrilled when I see them both get excited about taking care of their bodies. They both tell me how good they feel after a run. I hope to inspire them to see the possibilities of all they can accomplish...nothing is off limits! The only limits are what they place of themselves. I think they have seen me transform myself over the past few years so that it is an inspiration to them. I started out as a walker...then came running. They see how I make it a priority and how I push myself. I let them know that its hard. I told them all about my long runs...the crying, the digging deep within myself to make it through. They know this doesn't come easy for me, yet I pursue it to master it. And, I do it simply because I can. They can too.
I want them to feel at their young ages a natural love for exercise. I never felt that until a few years ago. If its something they grow up with, I'm hopeful it will stay with them throughout their lives. That's a great gift to give my sweet children.
So, if you have kids, or anyone in your life whom you can inspire...DO IT! Let your life speak. Let your life encourage. Take your kids, or a friend with you the next time you go for a run.