Racing with Your Kids

Young and On The Run

That’s a photo of my 13-year-old son Isaac, who ran a 5k today in 22:55. This is nothing new for him. Last year, on a whim, he decided to start running with me while I was training for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon. He’s a football player, so he figured he could just blast it out and be fine.

We headed out for our first training run, and he didn’t make it past the second mile due to cramps. But Isaac didn’t give up. The next time we ran he made it to three. And the following time, he made it to four. He was hooked.

I train with a group of about 150 participants at our church, and I brought Isaac along every Saturday for our long runs. He never complained about rising at 6:00am, and the longer the run, the more motivated he became. When we finally ran the 13.1 mile race, Isaac beat me by almost 11 minutes, finishing with a 1:47:34. He knew he couldn’t face his friends the next day if he didn’t beat his Mom’s time! I was so proud of him for sticking with the training and then finishing the race. Just like in 2 Timothy 4:7,”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

If you have kids, I encourage you to find a sport you can share with them. I have experienced some of my sweetest moments running with my son. We’ve encouraged and prayed for one another — competed against each other — and spent time together. Not only will you experience the joy of fitness, you’ll deepen your relationship at the same time. Isaac and I are training again for the Derby Mini again this year, and if he’s lucky (ha!ha!), he’ll beat my time again. Which is fine with me. I just enjoy watching him soar.

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