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You Can Do it! (Maybe)

Teresa M. Pelham

Mommy Minute

7:23 PM EDT, September 8, 2012

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As parents, we’re supposed to encourage our children to follow their dreams, to try new things, to push themselves.

Last night, when my crazy-runner-guy brother mentioned that he was going to run in a 10K race today, my middle dude immediately said he wanted to run, too.

“Let’s do the 5K, and train for another 10K this fall,” I offered.

“I want to do the 10K,” said the asthmatic 12-year-old kid who has run all of three miles in 2012. No lie.

This conversation went on through dinner, over a bonfire, and until I tucked him in at bedtime, hoping that we’d wake up and together run the more reasonable 5K. Six point two miles is a long freaking distance. I’ve run dozens of 5Ks but have only run six miles once, and only because I was lost.

We parents don’t always know exactly what to do. Maybe you would have immediately encouraged your kid to do the long race. I feared he would struggle and cry and not be able to finish. I wanted to protect him from that.

The boy prevailed. He kicked some serious butt, winning a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods for being the first (and only) runner in his age group.

I hope he remembers today as “The day I ran my first 10K” rather than “The time Mom said I probably couldn’t finish a 10K and did anyway.”

Let the half-marathon training begin.