training Brownies to run

If the weather cooperates, I’ll be out tomorrow morning, after my regular run, training Brownies for the Swamp Rat Run, which we ran last year (the one mile fun run), but did not prepare for.

This year, we’ll work on things like warming up, stretching, pacing, cooling down, and elbowing to the front of the bagel-and-smoothie line so that when the gun goes off, I don’t have 10 girls running all out for 100 yards and pooping out two minutes into it.

I’ve never actually trained anyone one “how” to run. No one has ever really trained me; I thought for many years that running was like, you put one foot in front of the other, a no brainer.

After having sustained minor injury, I realize HOW important being able to run is for me. ABDmom talked yesterday about how exercise, ahem, makes her feel better. And while I don’t experience the exact side effects she does, I do notice a remarkable swing in my moods and my ability to sleep well if I don’t get out for several days in a row. So in order to stay running, I’m more committed to preparation, hence our training.

After this crap with ITB syndrome, I find myself approaching my running in a much more cerebral way. I’ve tripled the time I take to stretch, expanded my repertoire of stretches, and have been researching things like speedwork, fartlek, and supplemental weight training–all things that until now I felt I didn’t have time to think about, or I thought that they didn’t apply to me since I run for “fun,” not to break any PRs or win any money pots.

But now. Now I’m crazed. My brownies will think I’m some crazy lady (I’m sure they all already do), showing them how to breathe, drink water, and jog slow to warm up. Why do they need someone to show them how to peel and eat a banana? To show them how to cross their feet and reach for the floor?

Because. One of the things I was glad to have as a kid growing up was a mom who, while she wasn’t really big on, you know, stretching, she DID always encourage us to exercise, and often would walk, bike-ride, swim laps, and play any number of yard games with us (badminton was a favorite, but we did volleyball, soccer, kickball too). She wasn’t hugely athletic. But she was fun, energetic, and always up for a frisbee throw.

I want to model that being active is important and fun. I want to show them that small things (warm up, stretch) can make them smart exercisers. And maybe one of them will grow up to be a crazed, PhD student with three kids, too many responsibilities, not enough money. She’ll wake up one morning and head out her front door, not remembering directly but indirectly, put one foot in front of the other for a few minutes, lean this way and that way for a little, and walk back in her front door a little sane-er, a little more capable of coping.

Probably the other nine will simply remember me as “the great torturer.”


One thought on “training Brownies to run

  1. I don’t know whether to offer congratulations or condolescenes re: not having the same side effects as I do. 😉

    I know what you mean about being an active mom. That is one of the things that has me upset about the state of my body right now–I feel like I’m a poor role model for Pistola. I don’t want her to grow up thinking that eating crappy food and getting no exercise is normal. Although we’re very careful with what we feed her now, and although she’s a great eater, we know that won’t last as she gets older unless we model healthy eating for her. Both BH and I have to do better, but since his diet is a bit better than mine (he eats vegetables), I feel more responsible.

    Additionally, I want to be able to run and play with her, without huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf. As you said, I want to be fun and energetic. I want to model an active lifestyle for her. Fortunately, my efforts are paying off already; every day she asks me, “Mama ride bike now?” That makes me feel good. 🙂

    Sorry to take over your post–just wanted to say I so know where you’re coming from.

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