My daughter is a lot like me. We love to get out and exercise, but we are by no means athletic. We both have tried every sport that involves a ball, and coordination is just not our thing. But we have found something that we both love and we can do together … running!
She has always had an interest in running, but honestly I always thought she would slow me down. Finally, I gave in and decided to start taking her with me, and her love for running has grown.
Here are some reasons running has been beneficial for us and a few tips I learned along the way if you want to start running with your daughter.
My oldest is ten now so the crucial pre-teen years are ahead of me. By taking time with her to do this without her siblings, I am building a stronger bond. We can talk during our run or just have quiet time together. When you have two siblings, it’s hard to find alone time so this was perfect for us.
Building Her Self-Esteem
Running is half physical endurance and the other half mental. By running with her, I am helping her build her self-esteem. I encourage her the entire time and never show disappointment. When she is tired and pushes herself just one more lap, she is building not only her endurance but also her confidence and her drive to be better.
I’ve learned to go at her pace and follow her lead. She may start off slow but that’s okay. Be supportive and do not make her feel like she is slowing you down. We run until she needs a break then we walk until one of us suggests we run again. We started by only walking a mile one day until we built ourselves up to 3 miles.
Sign Up For a Race
My daughter’s school offered a program called Girls on the Run last year. This was one of the best after school programs she has every participated in. If your school offers it, I highly suggest it. It is empowering, fun and focused on encouraging a healthy lifestyle in girls. My daughter and I ran her first 5K this January, and she was amazing. I am so thankful to her coaches and team members who were so encouraging and positive.
We also ran the Castaway Cay 5k on our Disney cruise during Mardi Gras. These runs are just for fun so they really build a girl’s self-confidence and let her know what she is really capable of.
No Stopping Us Now
With two 5K medals on our shelf, we are now ready for more! We plan to start signing up for more races together, as a family. The weather is warming up so we are scheduling two to three days a week after school and Saturday mornings to run together. I am savoring this time with my daughter and am thankful we have found something so rewarding to share.